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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Lansana GBERIE
World Trade Organization
295.   As in previous occasions and for Members' information, the Secretariat will provide a brief update of the issues related to intellectual property policy that have come up in the most recent Trade Policy Reviews. 296.   Since our last report during the TRIPS Council Meeting in March, the following Trade Policy Reviews have taken place: United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, New Zealand and Ghana. During these reviews, delegations engaged in the discussions and sought further details on: a. The domestic implementation of the TRIPS Agreement; b. Institutional arrangements for the administration and enforcement of intellectual property; c. Copyright and related-rights regimes; d. Trademark regime; e. Protection of geographical indications; f. Patent regime; g. Protection of new plant varieties; h. Enforcement, online and at the border; and i. Measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 297.   The Secretariat has also contributed with the chapters on Intellectual Property for the upcoming G20 and WTO wide Director-General's Monitoring Reports. We would like to thank Members and Observers that sent information about the measures that were implemented since October 2021. These inputs by delegations are essential in assisting the Secretariat to prepare the reports in the most accurate and comprehensive manner.
The Council took note of the information provided.
63. The Chair recalled that the purpose of this agenda item was to keep Members informed of developments in other WTO bodies which were relevant to TRIPS matters and that no discussion was required, but delegations could comment if they so wished.
64. Regarding developments relating to the TRIPS amendment, the Chair indicated that the delegations of Eswatini and the Maldives had deposited their instrument of acceptance on 23 May and on 20 April 2022, respectively. He said that, with that, 136 Members had accepted the TRIPS amendment and he encouraged the remaining 28 Members to expedite action. Under the General Council Decision of 23 November 2021 (document ) the period for acceptance of the Protocol had been extended until 31 December 2023.
65. The Chair recalled that the 12th Ministerial Conference had been held in Geneva only two weeks before, from the 12th to the 17th of June, and that the successful Conference had produced a number of documents related to the TRIPS Agreement.
a. Ministers had adopted a Decision on TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints (document ), which had been discussed earlier under agenda item 7. This Decision had extended the so-called "moratorium" on non-violation and situation complaints to MC13 and had instructed the Council to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for such complaints and make recommendations to MC13;
b. The Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement (document ) aimed to improve the capacity of developing country Members to produce and supply COVID-19 vaccines to other eligible Members. Paragraph 8 of this Decision had been the topic of agenda item 11 at the present meeting. In relation to this Decision, the Chair's statement during the final Heads of Delegations meeting at MC12, reporting on the process that ultimately concluded in the adoption of the Decision, had been circulated on 20 June as document . This had been followed on 22 June by document , which provided a record of developing country Members that had made a binding commitment not to avail themselves of the Decision. This document would be updated as needed;
c. The Ministerial Declaration on the WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for future pandemics (document ). This declaration recalled the Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement mentioned above and reiterated that the TRIPS Agreement did not and should not prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health. It also reaffirmed that Members had the right to use the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health of 2001 to protect public health, including in future pandemics. Paragraph 24 of this Declaration had been mentioned under agenda item 3;
d. The Ministerial Decision on the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce (document ), based on its original mandate, included instructions for the TRIPS Council. The Decision invited reports to be submitted from the relevant WTO bodies for periodic reviews to be held by the General Council; and
e. A Secretariat Note entitled "WTO Secretariat's Work in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic" had been circulated in document . This note provided a non-exhaustive overview of the work undertaken by the Secretariat to assist Members to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provided information on pandemic-related work in select WTO bodies, including the TRIPS Council.
66. The representative of the Secretariat reported IP-related issues that had been considered in the context of individual Members' trade policy reviews.
67. The Council took note of the information provided.
IP/C/M/105, IP/C/M/105/Add.1, IP/C/M/105/Corr.1