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

United Kingdom
109.   The United Kingdom would like to thank the US and the co-sponsors for preparing this paper, summarising the previous year's activity from the Friends of IP and Innovation Group, focused on IP and MSMEs. We are pleased to co-sponsor and to have the opportunity in past sessions and in the present discussion to add our voice to those delegations that see this work and MSMEs as important in the overall innovation ecosystem. The UK considers that creative and innovative enterprises are vital to a strong economy, and MSMEs often represent the most innovative and agile businesses. 110.   It is undeniably vital that these businesses' success is complimented by an enabling and effective intellectual property framework. Over the previous year we have listened with interest to other Members' experiences in this area, from how critical MSMEs are, to how IP can support and foster their success, and how governments can create an environment to aid this. A key aspect for the UK was the theme of building awareness among MSMEs of the benefits of IP to their business, notably the example that some MSMEs may not have sought protections due to a lack of awareness or assumptions that processes to achieve this would be expensive or difficult. Therefore, hearing examples of Members' experiences relating to outreach and education efforts form Members, and the encouragement of the development of IP strategies as a core business function were especially helpful. 111.   We also noted with interest the increasing focus on green tech innovation, how both businesses and governments see this as a vital area of significance, and how MSMEs can benefit from a range of initiatives and tools that Members have been putting in place encourage innovation in the green space. We fully agree that MSMEs are critical to bringing innovative solutions to real-world challenges, as well as overall economic health, and would like to reiterate that while the significance of MSMES to economies is increasingly recognized, it is now more important than ever that we look at ways to bolster the capacity and health of MSMEs. The UK would again like to thank the US and other Members of the Group for presenting this paper, as well as for their contributions throughout this fascinating theme.
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.