2. The Chairman recalled that in line with the work programme for negotiating groups for the period of September to December 2010 he had held informal consultations on how to organize the Special Session's work with delegations sponsoring TN/IP/W/10/Rev.2 and with those sponsoring the modalities proposal in TN/C/W/52, as well as with Hong Kong, China, on 14 October 2010. On the following day, he had informed the whole membership about his group consultations at an open ended informal meeting for purposes of transparency and inclusiveness.
3. He further recalled that the 26th meeting of the Special Session held on 10 June had structured its work and discussion around the two sub questions he had posed under the chapeau of the two main questions raised by his predecessor, Ambassador Clarke, on legal effects or consequences of registrations. These two sub questions had been motivated by the following considerations. There was a need for that negotiating group to depart from rhetorical debates. While several issues were important to that negotiation, including inter alia the other key issue of participation and the important area of special and differential treatment, his sense was that the issue of legal effects or consequences of registration was the stumbling block. In order to depart from rhetorical discussions he believed it would be helpful for delegations to first focus on grounds they felt sufficiently comfortable, i.e. current rules and practices in their own jurisdictions. He believed that this would help the negotiating group see more clearly differences and areas of commonality.
4. He said that the two sub questions were intended to structure and focus the discussion on central elements of the discussion on legal effects or consequences of registration, and to better understand the concerns expressed by some Members. The sub questions were not intended to lead in any particular direction or to prejudge any result of the discussions. It was they, the delegations, who had the say. The first sub question concerned how domestic trademark and GI authorities currently operated and how their operating mode might be affected by different ways of taking into account the information in the envisaged Register of geographical indications for wines and spirits. The second sub question concerned how domestic authorities were currently dealing with the substantiation of claims of genericness of a term in procedures of registration and protection.
5. In his view, the discussion at the meeting of 10 June had been extremely informative as delegations had explained the current procedures and practices applied at domestic level. There existed now a wealth of information which he believed would grow and merit close examination. Since some of the responses at the last meeting had been preliminary and not all delegations had been able to give responses due to the short notice of the sub questions, he suggested to continue exploring the issues at this formal meeting. Delegations which had given preliminary comments would therefore have the opportunity to further supplement the information, to fine tune it or to respond to other delegations' observations. He also urged delegations which had not hitherto taken the floor to provide information about current practices in their own jurisdictions.
6. He also wished to make it clear that that any other means by which Members might have intended to share information about their systems at this meeting, such as case studies, scenarios or presentations, remained most welcome and that delegation wishing to address any other issues, including participation and special and differential treatment, should feel free to do so.