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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Lansana GBERIE
Trinidad and Tobago
23.   The delegation of Trinidad and Tobago would like to introduce these two notifications which represent some of the enabling regulations of the new trademark legislation in effect in Trinidad and Tobago. 24.   The Trademarks Act N° 8 of 2015 and concomitant Regulations were proclaimed by Her Excellency, the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 25 June 2020. This proclamation comes after Trinidad and Tobago's accession to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks which brings harmonization of administrative trademark registration procedures, especially in the field of communication technologies. The Act and its Regulations, which are wholly in line with the Singapore Treaty, establish the Electronic Online System (EOS) for the Trinidad and Tobago Intellectual Property Office in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs (TTIPO). 25.   Prior to this, Trinidad and Tobago operated its TRIPS-compliant trademark system under the Trademark Act, Chap. 82:81, which itself was based on 1955 legislation that was progressively amended to comply with the TRIPS Agreement, to incorporate subsequent amendments and to give effect to various trademark treaties and conventions. 26.   A decision was made to start with a clean slate and repeal and replace the Trademark Act, Chap. 82:81 with newer legislation that would incorporate the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. This would usher in electronic filing and also allow non-traditional marks for sounds, scents, texture and taste. It would also allow accession to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. This was a more effective approach than trying to amend older legislation in this instance. 27.   The Trademarks Regulations, 2020, enable the provisions of the Act. The Trademarks (Border Enforcement Measures) Regulations, 2020, specifically provide guidance to enhance the trademark enforcement initiatives of the Customs and Excise Division in keeping with the new types of marks that can now be registered. 28.   Subsequent regulations regarding international trademarks arising under the Madrid Protocol will be introduced at a later session. 29.   These form part of a number of amendments being considered to other pieces of IP legislation to support the burgeoning IP ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
1. The Chair invited the Secretariat to update delegations on the notifications under various provisions of the TRIPS Agreement that had been submitted since the meeting in March 2022, and said he would then offer the floor to delegations wishing to introduce their notifications.
2. The representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications, under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. Brazil had notified two amendments to its Copyright Act related to the collective management of copyright, and to the mentioning of voice actors in the credits of audio-visual works;
b. Japan had notified consolidated versions of its Trademark Act, its Design Act and its Patent Act;
c. Montenegro had notified amendments to its Law on Copyright and Related Rights, to its Patents Law and to its Law on the protection of Trade Secrets;
d. Croatia had notified a consolidated version of its Copyright and Related Rights Act;
e. Ukraine had notified amendments to its law on collective management of Copyright and Related Rights to ensure collection of rights revenues by collective management organizations.
f. Guatemala had notified amendments to its Regulations under the Law on Copyright and Related Rights to include the definitions derived from the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled;
g. Bahrain had notified a law concerning the protection of New Plant Varieties;
h. Republic of Moldova had notified a law on the protection of geographical indications, appellations of origin and traditional specialities, a government decision amending regulations on the filing and examination of patent applications and the issuance of patents, further laws amending and supplementing certain legislative acts;
i. Trinidad and Tobago had notified the Trade Mark Regulations, and Regulations relating to the Border Enforcement Measures on Trade Marks from 2020.
3. Under Article 69, Cote d'Ivoire had notified a contact point for enforcement of intellectual property rights.
4. The Chair invited delegations that had provided new or revised notifications to the Council to introduce those notifications. The representatives of Brazil, the European Union, the Bahrain, Kingdom of, Republic of Moldova, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Montenegro, Ukraine, and Guatemala took the floor.
5. The Chair thanked delegations for the information provided on their notifications. He noted that notifications to the Council were not keeping up with the actual development of laws and regulations relating to TRIPS and emphasized that Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement 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 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, which was a matter of immediate practical concern at that moment. It would also help the Secretariat in its efforts to provide informed technical support to Members in this area.
6. 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.
7. The Chair recalled that all these notifications could be made through the e-TRIPS Notification Submission System (NSS). The Secretariat was available to respond to any question in that regard.
8. The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/105, IP/C/M/105/Add.1, IP/C/M/105/Corr.1