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

I Review of Legislation on Copyright and Related Rights
67. The Chairman, responding to the points made by the representatives of Brazil and India, drew attention to the agreed procedures for the review, according to which "the main record of the review will be the transcripts of the questions and replies. There would also be a brief record of any other discussion at the meeting, including any introductory statements and comments not reflected in the questions and replies." In regard to the possibility for developing countries to present questions, he referred to the final element of those procedures, according to which "at subsequent meetings of the Council an opportunity will be given to follow-up any point emerging from the review sessions which delegations consider had not been adequately addressed". He recalled that the review of national implementing legislation as scheduled in document IP/C/3 implied quite a heavy workload and that it was important to allow an adequate opportunity for a follow-up to all Members, in particular to developing country Members that had constraints on their resources and on their ability to analyse and digest some of the material. He added that the Council's meeting in September, that was going to be principally devoted to technical cooperation, might provide a good opportunity to Brazil and India to pursue some of the points raised. 68. In regard to the procedures as they related to the follow-up of the review exercise, the Chairman recalled that delegations should provide the Secretariat with written copies of follow-up questions and oral replies. Written replies to follow-up questions to which oral responses could not be provided during the Council meeting should be submitted within eight weeks after the meeting. He noted that the Secretariat had received a number of written replies described as being provisional or preliminary. A number of those replies appeared to be quite complete. He requested delegations that had marked the written replies as provisional or preliminary to advise the Secretariat by the end of the following week whether these replies should be regarded as final. Otherwise, the Secretariat would proceed to process such replies as provisional replies only, i.e. they would remain marked as provisional replies unless delegations contacted the Secretariat and asked them to be considered as final. He also recalled that, at subsequent meetings of the Council, an opportunity would be given to follow-up any point emerging from the review sessions which delegations considered had not been adequately addressed. The first such occasion to do so would be at the Council's meeting in September. Within the context of such follow-up, delegations might conceivably pose additional questions once they had digested the substantial amount of information that had been provided in the course of the present meeting. He urged that any such questions and written replies to them be provided as soon as possible. 69. Turning to the Council's review meeting scheduled for November, the Chairman recalled that, according to the "Schedule for Consideration of National Implementing Legislation in 1996/1997" decided by the Council in November 1995 (document IP/C/3), that review would relate to the areas of trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs. He proposed that the procedures for the review of legislation in the area of copyright and related rights be applied mutatis mutandis to the review scheduled for November, with certain minor adjustments. Firstly, the advance notice of questions relating to legislation in the area of trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs should be given by 20 September 1996 (instead of by the end of August, as indicated in document IP/C/3). Secondly, written responses should be provided as soon as possible and in any event one week prior to the review meeting of the Council for TRIPS, i.e. by 4 November 1996, at least in respect of those questions posed within the deadline. Written responses should be addressed directly to the Member putting the question and copies should be sent to the Secretariat. If written responses were to be translated into all WTO languages and then circulated in time for the November review session, they should be made available to the Secretariat well in advance of the meeting, i.e. by 18 October 1996 at the latest. 70. The Chairman proposed that Members' legislation in these three areas would be reviewed in the same order as legislation on copyright and related rights had been reviewed, while allowing for flexibility to take account of the special needs of particular delegations. The review meeting would take the form of an introduction by the Member whose legislation was under review of its legislation, providing a brief overview of the structure of its legislation in the areas under review and of the changes, if any, that it had had to bring about in order to make the legislation compatible with the TRIPS Agreement. Subsequently, the Member concerned would present its responses to the questions put to it by other Members. There would then be an opportunity for comments and possible follow-up questions from other Members and oral replies to those questions. Out of the week of 11 to 15 November 1996, at least four days would be set aside for the review, with the remaining time available for regular Council work. At subsequent meetings of the Council, an opportunity would be given to follow-up any point emerging from the review session which delegations considered had not been adequately addressed.