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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
58.   We note with appreciation, the Secretariat working paper entitled "Innovation and the Patenting Activities of COVID-19 Vaccines in WTO Members – Analytical Review of Medicines Patent Pool COVID-19 Vaccines Landscape (VAXPAL)". 59.   We also would like to thank the Secretariat for hosting a seminar in which it presented the study to a broad range of stakeholders including Geneva-based delegates and patent offices. Certainly, the feedback we received from the Companies and Intellectual property Commission (CIPC) – which is South Africa's IP office – is that the presentation was most useful. Similarly, we also value the Secretariat publication entitled "Patent-related Actions Taken in WTO Members in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic". 60.   We would encourage the periodic updating of these important publications to reflect recent relevant developments. On this note, a recent review by US-based institution Knowledge Economy International (KEI) looked into contracts between the United States Government and private companies. This study revealed 62 contracts containing government authorizations to use patented inventions without the permission of patent holders. Presentation of such information can provide useful best practice for Members.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this item at its next meeting.
12. The Chair recalled that, at its last formal meeting, the Council had agreed to discuss the following three topics under this agenda item:
a. IP-related domestic measures taken by Members in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of broad support, in principle, for a continuation of the exchanges of views on measures undertaken as the pandemic persisted. The Chair once again referred to the compilation "COVID-19: Measures Regarding Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights" on the WTO website which contained a non-exhaustive list of IP-related measures taken in the context of COVID-19, compiled by the Secretariat from official sources and verified by the Members concerned. That the list was being updated continuously, even if there had been no recent changes to the document. He encouraged Members to inform the Secretariat of any measures which should be included on the list, as well as any update or information on the expiry – or end of application – of such measures.
b. Under paragraph 24 of the Declaration on the WTO Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Preparedness for Future Pandemics the Council was mandated to continue or initiate work to analyse lessons learned and challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that the Council had already initiated discussions on COVID-19-related experiences in the field of IP under this agenda item since June 2020, delegations continue these exchanges, as directed by paragraph 24 of the Declaration, and that the Council would treat any proposals that Members might make in this regard under this item.
c. Paragraph 5 of the Decision on the TRIPS Agreement required Members to "communicate to the Council for TRIPS any measure related to the implementation of the Decision, including the granting of an authorization" as soon as possible after the adoption of the measure. It had been agreed at the last meeting that, to the extent that such communications were not already covered by notifications of laws and regulations under item 1, the Council would provide an update on such communication under this agenda item. In this regard, he noted that no communications under paragraph 5 of the Ministerial Decision had been received to date.
13. The Chair opened the floor for any intervention on the three aspects treated under this agenda item.
14. The representatives of South Africa, Switzerland and Sri Lanka took the floor.
15. The Chair proposed to revert to the item at the next meeting to ensure that the exchanges could continue, including on the basis of the following:
a. the updated Secretariat compilation of COVID-19 related IP measures,
b. any communications that might be received from Members under paragraph 5 of the MC12 TRIPS Decision, and
c. any proposals Members might wish to make in the context of paragraph 24 of the WTO Declaration on Pandemic Response.
16. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to this item at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1