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

Ambassador István Major (Hungary)
European Union
M.i Dispute settlement
132. The representative of the European Communities said that his delegation’s request for the establishment of a panel in dispute IP/D/11 (WT/DS114) concerned Canada's implementation of Articles 27, 28 and 33 of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to pharmaceutical inventions. Under Canadian patent legislation, a person who was not the patent holder was permitted, without the consent of the patent holder, to use a patented invention to (i) carry out experiments and tests required for obtaining marketing approval of a copy of the patented medicine before the expiration of the relevant patent; and (ii) manufacture and stockpile patented medicines for a period of up to six months before patent expiry for sale after expiry. The TRIPS Agreement obliged Members to provide that the holder of a patent had exclusive rights, for a period that would end 20 years from the filing date of the application on which the patent had been granted, to prevent others from making and using his or her patented invention during that period. His delegation had made the request for consultations after it had carefully examined the legislation of Canada, which it had begun to do so soon after Canada was required to implement the corresponding provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. The review exercise had been extremely helpful in this regard and, indeed, through the discussions in the Council his delegation had become convinced that the legislation of Canada violated the TRIPS Agreement. His delegation considered this to be an important matter and the European Communities and their member States were certainly not challenging the balanced outcome of the Uruguay Round negotiations. It was a question of making sure that, in this particular area, Canada, like others, complied with its obligations.