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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

1.   Thailand thanks the WTO Secretariat for circulating and assisting us in preparing the notification IP/N/1/THA/6 referring to the notification of the Ministry of Commerce regarding the determination of counterfeit goods and pirated goods as goods prohibited from export, import and bringing in transit, which entered into force on 29 July 2022. 2.   This notification of the Ministry of Commerce was intended to modernize and streamline the legislation and procedures for the determination of counterfeit goods and pirated goods as goods prohibited from export, import and bringing in transit, in line with relevant international agreements to which Thailand is a party including the TRIPS Agreement and the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, in order to strengthen border control measures to combat intellectual property rights infringement more efficiently. Kindly refer to the notification for details, including the translation of the legislation. 3.   To conclude, I would like to reiterate Thailand's commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement to ensure efficient protection and enforcement of IP rights.

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 July 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. Thailand had provided a Notification of the Ministry of Commerce on the Determination of Counterfeit Goods and Pirated Goods as Goods Prohibited from Export;
b. Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of had notified its Competition Law and the corresponding implementing Regulations;
c. Tonga had notified consolidated 2020 versions of its Industrial Property Act and Regulations, its Copyright Act, its Protection of Layout Designs Act and Regulations, its Protection of Geographical Indications Act and Regulations, and its Customs and Excise Management Act;
d. The Seychelles had notified its 2022 Fair Trading Act;
e. The European Union had notified three EU Regulations pertaining to the quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs, to the establishment of Union Symbols for PDOs, PGIs and TSGs, and to the GIs for aromatized wines;
f. Brazil had notified an amendment to its Patent Statute;
g. Ukraine had notified a law concerning the Protection of Interests of Persons in the Sphere of Intellectual Property during the Martial Law in connection with the Military Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine;
h. Chinese Taipei had notified consolidated versions of its Patent Act, its Copyright Act, and its Copyright Collective Management Organization Act;
i. Italy had notified Decrees relating to the Prohibition of Ambush Marketing ahead of the organization of the 2026 Olympic Games in Italy, to Design protection, and to establishing specialized intellectual property divisions of tribunals and courts of appeals. It had also notified amended procedural rules relating to plant varieties, to patent applications that designate Italy, and to the setting up of an online platform for fee payment;
j. France had notified legislation relating to genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, to ensuring compatibility with the Unified Patent Court jurisdiction, to trademarks, trade secrets and to the transformation of utility model applications into patent applications, among others.
3. Bulgaria, Austria, Lithuania and Greece had notified a contact point for IP enforcement under Article 69. Austria had also notified a contact point under Art 67.
4. The Chair invited delegations that had provided new or revised notifications to the Council to introduce those notifications. The representatives of Thailand, Seychelles, the European Union, Chinese Taipei, Brazil, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of, Tonga, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America 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. 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. He pointed out that the e-TRIPS platform made fulfilling these transparency obligations much easier.
6. 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. More than 50 WTO Members, including most of the world's major exporters of medicines, had adopted implementing legislation that allowed them to use the System as exporters and/or importers. But only 21 Members, including the European Union, had formally notified such measures to the TRIPS Council. 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.
7. A more comprehensive picture of how the special compulsory licensing system had been implemented in Members' domestic law could also help Members' on-going discussions about how this particular TRIPS flexibility worked in practice, and about the causes of any potential delays or hindrances in using the system.
8. The Chair recalled that all these notifications could be made through the e-TRIPS Notification Submission System (NSS). E-TRIPS not only facilitated the submission of information by Members – it also permitted digital access, consultation, and analysis of this information through the e-TRIPS Gateway, an easy-to use interface to search and display information related to the TRIPS Council. The Secretariat was available to respond to any question in that regard. He also referred to the latest "Annual Report on Notifications and other Information Flows" issued by the Secretariat in March 2022 in document , which summarized submission rates and identifies trends for each of the primary TRIPS transparency mechanisms and would be updated ahead of the first formal meeting of the TRIPS Council in 2023.
9. The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1