Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

United States of America
102.   Before discussing the new IP and Innovation topic under agenda item 12, the United States wanted to take a step back and summarize what we discussed over the past year under the theme "Making MSMEs Competitive through Intellectual Property (IP) and Innovation" as noted in the submission IP/C/W/678/Rev.1. 103.   First, under the sub-theme "Making MSMEs Competitive Through Trademarks" several Members shared information about best practices that their governments and IP offices have employed to build the awareness of MSMEs and provide them with tools to protect their trademarks and maximize their commercial potential in the global marketplace. Although, trademarks are the most widespread form of registered IP rights, they offer benefits such as product distinction and protection against unfair competition, and are a critical element of branding and marketing, many MSMEs still have not taken steps to apply for trademark protection because they lacked awareness and understanding of trademark protection. 104.   Second, under the sub-theme "Making MSMEs Competitive Through Inclusive Protection of Various IPRs" the Council discussed how MSMEs often lack the awareness and understanding of how to develop their businesses through building and achieving a high-quality multi-layered IP portfolio composed of various types of IP. Members noted efforts to more effectively support MSMEs in expanding their operations through the strategic growth and diversification of their IP assets, including programmes and initiatives offered by national IP offices designed to assist individual inventors and MSMEs with protecting and commercializing their inventions, such as through fee discount policies for small and micro entities for IP registration applications; a programme for crosssectional "collective examination for IP portfolios" to grant multiple IP rights in a timely and coordinated basis; and development of "IP for business" audit and assessment tools and other IP pre-diagnostic services. 105.   Lastly, under the sub-theme "Making MSMEs Competitive in Green Tech" Members discussed how governments are increasingly building green tech innovation into national strategic planning, including by establishing programmes and tools that aim to encourage and reward green inventions and their diffusion. Several Members shared their national IP offices' positive experiences with programmes such as providing personalized assistance with patent searches for green tech MSME inventors as well as prioritizing or accelerating application proceedings for patent applications directed toward green technologies. Members also discussed the WIPO GREEN platform and its role in facilitating the development and dissemination of green technologies by promoting matchmaking between environmentally sustainable technology providers and seekers. I will come back to share the United States' experience with how businesses are using IP as a tool for attracting investment and financing.
48. The Chair recalled that this item had been put on the agenda at the request of Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, and the United States. A communication had also been circulated in documents IP/C/W678 and IP/C/W/678/Rev.1. Since the circulation of the document, the United Kingdom, Chile and Singapore had also co-sponsored this item and the corresponding documents.
49. The representatives of the United States; Switzerland; Australia; the United Kingdom; Singapore; Japan; Brazil; and South Africa took the floor.
50. The Council took note of the statements made.