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

Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados)
European Union
B.ii Cluster 2 (Notification and registration)
127. The representative of the European Communities said that his delegation had received fewer questions on the second cluster. Regarding notification, the proposal entitled each Member to notify a GI on the condition that it was protected in the notifying Member in accordance with the TRIPS Agreement. The proposal did not impose any details as to the form of such protection and thus left Members free to determine the appropriate method for implementing the relevant GI provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. It also did not require the setting up of national registers. 128. He said that the content of the notification would therefore be fairly simple. Two elements should be included at a minimum, but more could be included at the discretion of the notifying Member. The two minimum elements would be to provide: (i) all the information necessary to enable a verification that the GI met the GI definition; and (ii) the elements which would allow a verification that the GI was protected in the country of origin, i.e. in the notifying country. 129. With regard to the issue of opposition, he said that this element had been eliminated in response to complaints by Members that an opposition procedure would entail burdens, costs and administrative work. This elimination was also logical because, contrary to other systems such as the Lisbon and Madrid Agreements, under the TN/C/W/52 proposal a mere notification to the register would not entail any automatic protection of the term. He said that this addressed the major concerns that had been raised regarding the excessive government involvement and costs.