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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

530.   First of all, we welcome the drafting and submission of document IP/C/W/692, which was drawn up by Switzerland and endorsed by a number of other Members that are very active in this area. My Ambassador, as Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs, had the honour and pleasure of presenting the issue of start-up financing based on intellectual property asset capitalization, from the public policy standpoint, at yesterday's lunchtime event moderated by the United States. There, we were joined by WIPO and an innovative enterprise from the food sector, both of which shared their views regarding technical aspects and the real challenges on the ground. 531.   After attending yesterday's event and hearing about some Members' experiences, it is clear that the developing world still has a long way to go until the financial system recognizes intellectual property assets in a way that is effective from the point of view of risk and potential market gains. While some financial institutions are clearly already pioneers in this area, the vast majority continue to operate in a traditional and conservative manner. This is where States need to make an additional effort to ensure dialogue between MSMEs and entities with capital available for investment, and to perhaps amend domestic regulations at the central bank level. In this regard, we have found that financial regulations promote conservatism when it comes to providing high-risk capital, and this is detrimental in situations where an entrepreneur submits a business plan that is based, in many cases, on a patent, an industrial design or a trademark. The regulatory machinery should be used to ensure that central banks have the assurance they need that credit providers can conduct business safely, but without this stifling innovation or the possibility of financing projects that on the surface appear high-stakes. 532.   In Uruguay, the National Innovation and Research Agency finances and supports business projects from their inception and the development of business plans. It provides financing and helps businesses to find other sources of capital in the public and private sectors. It is our understanding that public policies should provide the initial impetus to encourage central banks, financial institutions and, above all, entrepreneurs, so that this issue is not a taboo. 533.   We suggest that this item remain on the Council's agenda on a permanent basis, so that the issue can continue to inspire Members. We also suggest that this issue continue to be discussed in the Informal Working Group on MSMEs. Lastly, we invite everyone to participate in the event to be held by WIPO on 1 November, which has already been mentioned by my Swiss colleagues.

The Council took note of the statements made.
84. The Chair said this item had been put on the agenda at the request of the delegations of Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These delegations had also submitted a communication on this topic, circulated in document in order to allow Members to prepare for today's discussion.
85. The representatives of Switzerland; Japan; the United States of America; Australia; Canada; Chinese Taipei; Singapore; the European Union; the United Kingdom; Chile; Hong Kong, China; Uruguay; Mexico; Switzerland; South Africa; India; China; and Indonesia took the floor.
86. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1