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

Ambassador W. Armstrong (New Zealand)
H Review of legislation in the areas of trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs
35. The Chairman said that the issue concerning the interpretation of Ecuador's Protocol of Accession would be addressed separately under agenda item J. As regards the other Members to which questions had been addressed in the context of the present review, he noted that the issue was not so much whether the Members in question were obliged to be subject to the present review exercise, but was more a practical issue related to the desirability of spreading out the future workload that the Council would face in reviewing legislation. At the same time, it seemed to be clear that the Members in question were not presently in a position to respond to the questions that had been put to them. From the point of view of the Chair, it would be desirable if some practical way could be found of evening out the future workload of the Council, in light of the fact that the present review exercise would be completed by the end of 1997 and so as to avoid an excessive bunching of review work that would otherwise arise after the year 2000. He wondered whether, in these circumstances, the Council could agree that the Chair would consult next year with individual Members whose legislation had not been subject to the present review exercise, but whose legislation would have been, in whole or in large part, brought into conformity with the TRIPS Agreement in advance. The purpose of those consultations by the Chair would be to see whether there was scope for the legislation of such Members to be progressively incorporated into the review process by the Council after the conclusion of the present review programme, i.e. at the earliest in 1998. It would be clearly understood that the agreement of a Member to this would be without prejudice to the legal situation regarding its entitlements under Article 65 and would be intended as a practical contribution to the work of the Council. Any Member which considered that it might be able to assist the Council in this way would be invited to inform the Chair, who would keep the Council informed of the progress in the consultations.