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

Mr. S. Harbinson (Hong Kong)
B.1 Notifications under Articles 1.3 and 3.1
8. The representative of Poland referred to the last sentence of paragraph 5 of document IP/C/W/5, according to which a Member that did not make any notification had to protect each phonogram producer which met any one of the three criteria in Article 5(3) of the Rome Convention as incorporated into the TRIPS Agreement. He was not convinced whether this sentence related also to developing countries and countries in transition since, under Article 65 of the TRIPS Agreement, they were entitled to delay the application of the whole Agreement, except for three Articles, for a further four years counted from 1 January 1996, which was the general date of application according to paragraph 1 of Article 65. Countries in these categories, therefore, in his view had no obligation to make the notifications in question by 1 January 1996. While recognizing the usefulness of Article 1 which defined which persons were eligible for protection under Article 3, in his view, these countries were free not to notify until the transitional period of a further four years had expired. He also had doubts about the reference to "WTO Members" in the document. While the TRIPS Agreement normally referred to "Members", this notion seemed to have been extended in the document to "WTO Members". A question he had in relation to this was, given the additional transitional period in Article 65 applicable to developing countries and countries in transition, what was the legal status for those countries which availed themselves of an additional transitional period under Article 65, notably whether they were Members of the Agreement or some kind of observers until the time of full application of the Agreement to them.