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

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli (Norway)

636.   We would like to thank the co-sponsors for introducing document IP/C/W/685. I think it is appropriate that this agenda item is in the same week as the UN International Day of the Girl Child. Before dealing with the specific guiding questions provided in part 5 of the document IP/C/W/685, I would make some general observations on this topic. According to South Africa's National Research Foundation (NRF), women constitute 35.5% of the NRF rated scientists. this is a national category accorded to the top scientists in the country. This phenomenon appears not be limited to South Africa. The "UNESCO Science -Toward 2030 Report" suggests that women are generally underrepresented in doctoral and post-doctoral research fields. 637.   The UNESCO report also provides that South African women were underrepresented in engineering (16%) and natural scientific professions (16%) in the early 2000's. This trend has not changed significantly – a recent report by the National Advisory Council on Innovation indicated that women constitute 9% of engineers that are registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Conversely, women made up a significant proportion employee in the biotechnology- related entities (52%). The National Research Foundation has adopted a targeted approach to increase the percentage of female scientists funded, and these efforts have started to bear fruit. 638.   The local IP filing patterns still show a low participation of local South African individuals and entities in the formal IP registration system in general. As we seek to address this trend - the promotion of women participation in the formal IP registration system is being pursued in parallel to increase the utilisation of the formal IP system and indeed the promotion of women participation in the science and engineering fields. I would now address the specific questions put to the membership. 1. Does your country have specific programmes to assist or promote women's participation in the IP system? 639.   Yes, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), the South African IP office conducts a number of events with a focus on women mostly in collaboration with Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) focussed on raising awareness about the potential value of IP for women entrepreneurs. 2. What measures, if any, have proven useful for the support of women entrepreneurs in participating in the IP system? Are there measures you have tried which have not been useful? a. Conducting awareness programmes; b. Proving information on access to finance; c. Mentoring and guiding; and d. Education and training programmes focussed on IPR. 3. How can the awareness of women entrepreneurs be raised regarding the benefits of IP for their business activity? a. Conduct "women in business" Webinars, share best practices and teach the value IP. Focus on female students in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths); b. Targeting women dominated sectors; and c. Collaborate with agencies already having databases of women businesses. 4. According to the experience of Members, what are the main challenges and specific barriers for women entrepreneurs in your country? a. Access to Finance; b. Mentoring and guidance; and c. Women businesses are not taken as serious as their male counterparts. (breaking the men's club). 5. According to the experience of Members, are there specific sectors where you have found women entrepreneurs are particularly active and could benefit from participating in the IP system? a. Fashion designers; b. Traditional ware/ designs; c. Creative industries; d. Culinary, Tourism; e. Interior Designs; and f. Health and Wellness. 640.   The CIPC stands ready to share practical experiences and collaborate with IP offices of WTO Members.

The Council took note of the statements made under this item.
138. The Chair said that the item had been put on the agenda at the request of Australia, the European Union, Japan, Switzerland, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These delegations had also submitted a communication to allow Members to prepare for today's discussion (document ). Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda, the delegation of Chile had been added to the co-sponsors of this item and the corresponding submission.
139. The representatives of the United States; the European Union; Chile; the United Kingdom; Chinese Taipei; Japan; Australia; Canada; Singapore; Switzerland; Panama; South Africa; China; and WIPO took the floor.
140. The Council took note of the statements made under this item.
IP/C/M/103, IP/C/M/103/Add.1, IP/C/M/103/Rev.1