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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

167.   I had hoped to take the floor after Bangladesh online who will be presenting this on behalf of the LDC Group, but first I would like to express our support for the statement that will be made by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group. Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement places a legal obligation on developed country Members to provide incentives to enterprises and institutions in their territories for the purpose of promoting and encouraging technology transfer to LDC Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base. 168.   Fulfilment of the obligation contained in Article 66.2 would contribute to the objectives of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular, Article 7 which posits that "the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology". This issue is key, not only in the context of the pandemic, but also in relation to longer term and structural issues such as climate change and digitalization. The Doha Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns reaffirms the mandatory nature of Article 66.2, as does the 2001 Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. 169.   In our view, it is important that the implementation of Article 66.2 should contribute to the objectives of the TRIPS Agreement and enable LDCs to develop a sound and viable technological base. In order to home in on technology transfer related activities more precisely, clarification of various issues could assist. These include inter alia: a. definitional issues around what constitutes technology transfer; b. to what extent incentives provided can be considered additional to official development aid? c. the robustness of evaluations undertaken to understand the impact of initiatives that have been taken. 170.   LDCs have raised some of these issues, among others, in document IP/C/W/562. Subsequent submissions by the LDC Group document IP/C/W/664 and document RD/IP/24. These documents are highly instructive. Our delegation sees great value in meaningfully engaging with these issues and stands ready to work with other Members toward full implementation of Article 66.2.

The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
44. The Chair turned to the Council's 20th annual review of developed country Members' reports on their implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. Under a Council decision of February 2003, developed country Members are to submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. New detailed reports are required every third year, and updates in the intervening years.
45. He recalled that in July 2022, the Council had requested developed country Members to submit updates to their seventh set of new detailed reports in time for the present meeting, and the Secretariat had since circulated a reminder. He also noted that the LDC Group had submitted a proposal of a template for the submission of reports on commitments of developed countries under Article 66.2.
46. He noted that the Council had received new reports from Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Since the circulation of the revised draft agenda the European Union had also submitted its report. This documentation was being circulated under the new dedicated document series with the symbol where "R" stands for "Reports" and "TTI" stands for "Technology Transfer Incentives".
47. He said that paragraph 2 of the Council's Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 states that the annual review should provide Members with an opportunity to pose questions in relation to the information submitted and request additional information; discuss the effectiveness of the incentives provided in promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base; and consider any points relating to the operation of the reporting procedure established by the Decision.
48. Some of the information by developed country Members had been received only very recently, and most of it was, so far, available only in its original language. He therefore intended for Members to have an opportunity to make further comments at the next meeting of the Council. This would give Members a chance to study the information recently circulated and any additional information subsequently received.
49. The Chair announced that the Secretariat was once again planning to hold the Article 66.2 Workshop in March 2023, back-to-back with the first TRIPS Council meeting of the year. This would allow LDCs sufficient time to absorb the information provided by developed countries in their reports and would also ensure that these reports are translated. It would further be an opportunity to discuss the LDC Groups' proposal for a template for reporting on commitments under this Article. He indicated that the Workshop would comprise two days of workshop sessions, and a reporting and review segment within the first TRIPS Council meeting of 2023.
50. The representatives of the; the European Union; Australia; the United Kingdom; New Zealand; the United States of America; Japan; Switzerland; Canada; South Africa; Bangladesh, on behalf of the LDC Group; and India took the floor.
51. The Chair suggested that Members be given an opportunity to continue considering the information provided at our next meeting.
52. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1