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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

11.   Ukraine is pleased to present its three notifications of recent institutional and legislative developments in the field of intellectual property. Let me start with the notification IP/N/1/UKR/14 which informs about institutional changes in the performance of the functions of the National Intellectual Property Authority, established by the Law of Ukraine № 703-IX of 16 June 2020. 12.   Since 8 November 2022, according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the state organization ""Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations"" (UANIPIO) has been fulfilling above-mentioned functions, while, from the same date, the State Enterprise ""Ukrainian Intellectual Property Institute"" has stopped all its activities as National IP office. 13.   The UANIPIO is now responsible for registration of intellectual property rights, maintaining state registers, support of the activities of collegial bodies and international cooperation. It performs informational and publishing activities, gives consultations on IPRs granting procedures and protection, assists in search for an investors and IP commercialization, and provides other state services in the IP sphere based on the principles of transparency, professionalism, decency and support. By transferring these functions, Ukraine is completing the institutional reform of national IP system and the implementation of relevant legislation. We strive for our National IP office to become a modern, professional, technological and transparent full-cycle hub as a "single-window" for innovators that constitutes the conceptually new approach to providing services in the field of intellectual property. 14.   As regards to Ukraine's other notifications IP/N/1/UKR/13 and IP/N/1/UKR/15, these concern laws of Ukraine, recently adopted in the area of geographical indications (GIs). Particularly, the Law of Ukraine N°2572 defines peculiarities of legal protection of GIs for agricultural products and foodstuffs. It lays down rules for application of quality schemes, establishes criteria for granting legal protection, and sets out registration requirements and the conditions for the use of registered GIs and traditional specialties guaranteed. The Law also includes provisions on control measures and provides for liability for its violation. Implementation of provisions of this Law should enable consumers to distinguish and to be better informed about quality specifics, characteristics and features of products while also supporting producers in promotion of their sales. 15.   The Law of Ukraine N° 2800 aims to determine the specifics of the registration, use and protection of GIs for spirit drinks. It includes definitions, categories of spirit drinks, provisions on registration procedure, including requirements for the content of specifications and application process. Also provides for the rules on certification, labelling, state control and liability for violations in order to prevent the unauthorized use of registered GIs of spirit drinks. 16.   The above-mentioned laws were developed with the view of implementing provisions of appropriate Regulations of the European Union and adopting the EU''s best practices and experience in area of GIs. Taking this opportunity, I would also like to thank the WTO Secretariat for the assistance provided in processing notifications. To conclude, let me reassure the WTO Members that IP continues to be of vital importance to Ukraine's economy placed on a war footing. 17.   Acknowledging the necessity of improvement of the IP system, these days we are fighting for the preservation of principles of freedom and independence while the terrorist regime of the Russian Federation continues terrorizing Ukrainian civilians. The war of aggression conducted by the Russian Federation against Ukraine directly influences the IP sphere as well. For example, the protection of some geographical indications is in fact suspended because the respective regions are under the temporary Russian occupation. We are honored to join the discussions under the proposed Agenda but it is unacceptable to do it with a country that has been violating international law, killed civilian people, destroyed civilian infrastructure facilities, including educational and medical institutions, cultural and religious buildings. 18.   We are confident, that development of effective IP system and improvement of national legislation in this area, despite the full-scale Russia's invasion, will provide proper level of IP rights protection and foster additional opportunities for producers and creators, promoting innovations and investments that are essential for Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery following our victory. We would like to thank all WTO Members who continuously support not only us, but also the very democratic principles of peaceful development.

12. 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 October 2022 and said he would then offer the floor to delegations wishing to introduce their notifications.
2. A representative of the Secretariat said that the Council had received the following notifications, under Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement:
a. A number of the member States of the European Union had notified a significant number of primary and secondary domestic laws relating to the substance and the administration of their respective IP systems. These EU member States were Bulgaria, Latvia, Austria, Lithuania, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland.
b. Canada had notified an amended set of patent rules.
c. Ukraine had notified two laws relating to geographical indications and a cabinet resolution addressing issues of the National Intellectual Property Authority.
d. Costa Rica had notified a significant number of laws and regulations relating to the entirety of its substantive IP system.
e. Japan had notified consolidated versions of the Trademark Act and the Designs Act.
f. Hong Kong, China had notified Rules and an Ordinance related to Registered Designs.
g. Chinese Taipei had notified its Copyright Act, its Patent Act, as well as Enforcement Rules of the Patent Act.
h. Saudi Arabia had notified the Law and implementing regulations relating to Arbitration. It had also notified Executive Regulations relating to the Copyright Law and the Patent Law.
i. Australia had notified amended Copyright Regulations which extend protection for secondary uses of foreign sound recordings to additional countries that provide equivalent protection to Australian sound recordings.
j. The United Kingdom had notified regulations related to the market organization and protection of agricultural products, food and drink after its withdrawal from the European Union.
k. The Gambia had notified its 2021 Intellectual Property Bill and related 2022 Regulations.
l. Korea had notified its Agricultural and Fishery Products Quality Control Act.
3. Ireland, El Salvador, the European Union and The Gambia had notified a contact point for IP enforcement under Article 69.
4. Austria, El Salvador, Botswana and The Gambia had also submitted new or updated responses to the Checklist on Issues of Enforcement.
5. The Chair invited delegations that had provided new or revised notifications to the Council to introduce those notifications. The representatives of Canada; the United Kingdom; Australia; Ukraine; Hong Kong, China; Korea, Republic of; Chinese Taipei; the European Union; Japan; Costa Rica; The Gambia; and the Russian Federation took the floor.
6. The Chair invited the Secretariat to introduce the "Annual Report on Notifications and other information flows" (document ).
7. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
8. The Chair thanked delegations for the information provided on their notifications and welcomed the information provided by the Secretariat. 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.
9. 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. It would also help the Secretariat in its efforts to provide informed technical support to Members in this area.
10. 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.
11. The Chair recalled that all these notifications could be made through the e-TRIPS Submission System. 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.
12. The Council took note of the notifications and the statements made.
IP/C/M/107, IP/C/M/107/Add.1