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

Ambassador C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados)
European Union
B.iii Cluster 3 (Other elements such as costs and burdens and special and differential treatment)
156. The representative of the European Communities said that question 44 from Canada was not so clear, as it requested the co-sponsors of TN/C/W/52 to clarify that disputes would be addressed in domestic courts by domestic authorities. The disputes on whether or not the GI met its definition would of course be addressed by domestic courts, or authorities, or chambers of disputes, whatever the country provided for. 157. Regarding the question of New Zealand on the application of the WTO dispute settlement system, he said that this was not a topic touched upon by the TN/C/W/52 proposal, and that one could only reason logically in this regard. Determinations by countries whether or not an exception applied were sovereign decisions of the relevant national authorities. They would, however, have to apply WTO definitions where these existed. If a national authority claimed for example that a name on the register did or did not meet the three criteria of the definition of Article 22.1, it could not take a decision on that name on the basis of only two criteria. If a GI registration by a Member was considered not to be WTO-compatible, or if a Member's legislation did not apply the TRIPS Agreement, it could be subject to the WTO dispute settlement system. This, however, would not be a change brought about by the TN/C/W/52 proposal as that was already the case now.
The Special Session took note of the statements made.