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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Lansana GBERIE

34.   Montenegro welcomes the opportunity to briefly present the key points of the legislation that entered into force on 8 January 2022, which is the subject of notifications under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. As already indicated by the Secretariat, these are the Law on Amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights, the Law on Amendments to the Law on Patents and the Law on the Protection of Trade Secret. 35.   The first notification under document IP/N/1/MNE/8 relates to the Law on Amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights, which regulates in detail the issue of collective management of copyright and related rights as to the authors and other holders of related rights, as well as obligations and powers of organizations for collective management of copyrights and users of those rights. The Law further prescribes the obligations of the collective management organizations in relation to the distribution of amounts due to rightsholders and management fees and other deductions from the rights revenue, as well as in the procedure for issuing authorization for the use of the copyrighted works. 36.   The most important novelties introduced by the Law relate to the significantly increased transparency of the work of collective management organizations, a more detailed procedure for supervising the work of collective management organizations by the competent authority, increased inspection supervision over unauthorized use of copyrighted works and protection matter, as well as stricter misdemeanour policy. In addition, the tariff determination procedure is improved. 37.   As for the notification under document IP/N/1/MNE/9, it refers to the Law on Amendments to the Law on Patents, which has followed Montenegro's recent ratification of European Patent Convention. The amendments to the Law prescribe provisions for the effective implementation of the European Patent Convention in the national legislative framework. Specifically, these are provisions related to the impact of European patent applications and European patents in Montenegro, filing of a European patent application, conversion of a European patent application into a national patent application, revocation of the European patent and protection against infringement. 38.   It is also prescribed that, as of the entry into force of the European Patent Convention in Montenegro, the European Patent Office will be the Receiving Office for the International Applications filed in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty, instead of the Montenegrin National Office or the International Bureau of the WIPO. And the third notification under document IP/N/1/MNE/10 refers to the Law on Protection of Trade Secret. 39.   This Law regulates the civil protection of trade secrets against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. It also prescribes a definition of trade secret, as well as when the acquisition, use or disclosure of a trade secret shall be considered lawful or unlawful. It further prescribes provisional measures that the competent court may order against the alleged infringer, as well as measures resulting from a decision on the merits of the case.

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