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

Ambassador István Major (Hungary)
Hong Kong, China
37. The representative of Hong Kong, China reported on a WIPO Regional Symposium which had taken place from 1 to 3 June 1998 in Hong Kong. The symposium had attracted over 120 delegates from around Asia to discuss how to implement the TRIPS Agreement, particularly the enforcement provisions. Speakers from the private sector had shown participants how corporations viewed the issue of intellectual property protection, particularly the need for a holistic approach so that the process of enforcement was treated as a necessary component of a corporation's overall intellectual property asset management process. Government speakers had provided a clear picture of what had been achieved in their countries on cracking down on piracy. Other speakers had given broad-ranging summaries of the laws available for the enforcement of intellectual property rights in their countries. The provisions of the TRIPS Agreement relating to special border measures had also been discussed. The World Customs Organization's discussion of its model legislation on this topic had given participants much insight into its thinking. Participants from the private sector had also suggested means of improving the model legislation. A speaker from Thailand had discussed the workings of his country's intellectual property court to assist in the enforcement of intellectual property rights. There had also been an analysis of how WIPO was assisting countries in the Asia-Pacific region to comply with the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement. In the margins of the symposium, difficult topics like parallel imports had also been discussed. Some interesting views had emerged. Some participants felt that the enforcement of intellectual property rights should be based on civil rights and that criminal procedures should not be overplayed in the interests of the rule of law. Another interesting view that had been expressed was that common law remedies like the Anton Piller order and the Mareva injunction were preferable to alternative dispute resolution systems such as arbitration. The symposium had been a successful and productive event and she expressed her delegation's gratitude to all who had contributed to its success.