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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE
Hong Kong, China

19.   Pursuant to Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement, Hong Kong, China submitted two notifications IP/N/1/HKG/38 and IP/N/1/HKG/39 on 18 November 2022. The first notification is related to the amendment to the Registered Designs Ordinance introduced under the National Flag and National Emblem (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 to the effect that a design is not registrable if it consists of or contains the national flag or the national emblem of the People's Republic of China or their designs. 20.   The second notification is related to the amendment to the Registered Designs Rules to provide that evidence of consent to the registration of a design (on which any armorial bearings, etc. appears) is subject to the new prohibition under the Registered Designs Ordinance.

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