60. The Chair turned to the Council's 19th annual review of developed country Members' reports on their implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Under a Council decision of February 2003, developed country Members are to submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. New detailed reports are required every third year, and updates in the intervening years.
61. He recalled that in June 2021, the Council had requested developed country Members to submit their seventh set of new detailed reports in time for the present meeting, and the Secretariat had since circulated a reminder. He also noted that the LDCs had submitted a proposal of a template for the submission of reports on commitments of developed countries under Article 66.2.
62. He noted that the Council had received new reports from Switzerland, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda Norway had also submitted its report. This documentation was being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol – where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TTI" stands for "Technology Transfer Incentives".
63. He said that paragraph 2 of the Council's Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 states that the annual review should provide Members with an opportunity to pose questions in relation to the information submitted and request additional information; discuss the effectiveness of the incentives provided in promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base; and consider any points relating to the operation of the reporting procedure established by the Decision.
64. Some of the information by developed country Members had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. He therefore intended for Members to have an opportunity to make further comments at the next meeting of the Council. This would give Members a chance to study the information recently circulated and any additional information subsequently received.
65. The Chair announced that the Secretariat was planning to hold the Article 66.2 Workshop in March 2022. In light of the changing situation, the dates of the workshop had not yet been fixed, but would be communicated as soon as they were finalized. This would allow LDCs sufficient time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports and also to ensure that these reports are available in the official languages of the WTO. It would further be an opportunity to discuss the LDC Groups' proposal for a template for reporting on commitments under this Article. He indicated that the Workshop would comprise two days of workshop sessions, and a reporting and review segment within the first TRIPS Council meeting of 2022.
66. He reported that in preparation of the next annual Workshop, the Secretariat had circulated an Article 66.2 survey questionnaire to LDC Members, acceding governments, and observers on 27 September 2021. The relevant delegations were invited to answer questions on current areas of needs and priority for technological development, projects that are relevant to these areas of technology transfer, and their general experience with projects reported under the Article 66.2 implementation and review process. The survey was an optional tool to assist with preparations for the annual workshop and aimed at facilitating and informing practical dialogue and coordination. The deadline to submit answers to this survey questionnaire was Friday, 29 October 2021.
67. The representatives of the United Kingdom; the European Union; Canada; Australia; Norway; the United States; Switzerland; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; China; India; and Japan took the floor.
68. The Chair suggested that Members be given an opportunity to continue considering the information provided at our next meeting.
69. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.