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

Ambassador D. Mwape (Zambia)
B.i First sub-question
77. The representative of Australia expressed her delegation's support for Chile's statement in response to the first question and joined Chile in appreciating the Chairman's informal consultations and his demonstrated commitment to openness and transparency in conducting these discussions. As to the European Union's question on legal effects, she referred delegates to the minutes of the TRIPS meeting of the Special Session held in March 2010 in document TN/IP/M/25, in particular paragraphs 56-64, in which her delegation had given its response concerning legal effects. 78. In addressing the point discussed between New Zealand and the European Union, her delegation was in agreement that upon the introduction of any obligation to consult the register Australia would also bear that obligation in line with her earlier intervention that the trademark examiner would have to turn to relevant information sources. She recalled that, in Australia, the Australian Wine and Brandy Cooperation Act already had a register of wines which trademark examiners were obliged to consult during a trademark application for wines. If a multilateral register for GIs for wines and spirits was added that would also be something trademark examiners would have to take into consideration. 79. She said that where the difference of views was - and perhaps the confusion – was that the multilateral register, as proposed by the delegation of the European Union, would create a burden to disprove a geographical indication and would seem to have an extra-territorial effect in that way. It would seem strange that, rather than there being a formal application in a domestic system there would be an international presumption that would create an obligation to disprove whether a term was a geographical indication or not, not on the basis of an application but on the basis of the mere fact that it was on a multilateral register. To have a universal presumption in favor of terms on that register would in fact be quite a burdensome requirement.
The Special Session took note of the statements made.