1. The Chair invited the Secretariat to report on notifications that the Council had received since its meeting in March 2021.
2. A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. The Republic of Korea had notified consolidated versions of its Trademark Act, its Patent Act, and its Design Protection Act. It had also circulated a consolidated version of its Agricultural and Fishery Products Quality Control Act, as well as the corresponding enforcement decree.
b. Viet Nam had notified its Criminal Code, its Civil Code, and a number of circulars and laws related to the implementation and administration of its intellectual property system.
c. Slovenia had notified new versions of its Copyright and Related Rights Act and its Industrial Property Act, transposing EU Directives into domestic law.
d. New Zealand had notified Amendments to its Copyright Act 1994, Patents Act 2013 and Trade Marks Act 2002 to implement New Zealand's commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It had also notified a revised Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act, including associated legal instruments, and an amendment to the Copyright Act to implement the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
e. Ukraine had notified minor corrections to already notified amendments regarding the law establishing its National Intellectual Property Authority.
f. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had notified licensing rules for providing intellectual property services, as well as a consolidated version of the revised Designs Act.
3. Furthermore, Tonga had notified its contact point for IP enforcement under Article 69.
4. Regarding notifications relating to the Special Compulsory Licensing System, Antigua and Barbuda had made a notification under Article 31bis and para. 1(b) of the Annex to the TRIPS Agreement, indicating its intention to use the special compulsory licensing mechanism – also known as the 'paragraph 6' system - as an importing Member. The Plurinational State of Bolivia – following its notification in February of its general intent to use the system – had since notified its need to import an estimated 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines under Art. 31bis and para. 2(a) of the Annex to the TRIPS Agreement.
5. The Chair encouraged delegations that had notified a new or revised legislative measure, or a new or updated response to the Enforcement Checklist, to inform the Council about the key points of their notification. He invited delegations to share information regarding their own notifications. This had become a well-established practice, followed by many delegations at recent sessions of the Council. It provided valuable insight into the notifications provided and promotes awareness and transparency.
6. The representatives of the Republic of Korea; Japan; the Plurinational State of Bolivia; the Central African Republic; the United Kingdom; South Africa; the European Union; and Canada took the floor.
7. The Chair noted that, while the pace of notifications to the Council had increased in recent years, they were still not keeping up with the actual development of laws and regulations relating to TRIPS. He emphasized that Article 63.2 was not a "one-off" requirement. It was a core element of the TRIPS transparency arrangements, and a central part of the Council's substantive work. It obliged Members to notify any new or amended laws in the area of TRIPS, including those recently adopted to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The requirement included the notification of legislative changes made to implement the special compulsory licensing system to export medicines covered by the new Article 31bis of the TRIPS Agreement. The notification of all relevant laws and regulations could assist Members in preparing for the potential use of the System – a matter of immediate practical concern at present. It would also help the Secretariat in its efforts to provide informed technical support to Members in this area – again, a very practical need in the context of the current global health crisis.
8. He urged Members to complete any outstanding initial notifications and to keep up to date with notifications on subsequent amendments. The same applied to the Checklist of Issues on Enforcement which was established by the Council as an element of Members' notification obligations.
9. The e-TRIPS submission system was available for Members to notify their laws, and to make other required submissions to the TRIPS Council, through the click of a button. The system facilitated the submission of information by Members and permitted digital access, consultation and analysis of this information through the e-TRIPS Gateway, an easy-to use interface to search and display information related to the TRIPS Council. The Chair asked the delegations to contact the Secretariat if they had any question in that regard.
10. The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.