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

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
Czech Republic
C.ii.i Procedures
35. The representative of the Czech Republic expressed her delegation's appreciation for the Chairperson's effort for a structured discussion as well as for the work done by the WTO and WIPO Secretariats by providing the Council with helpful material. She recalled that, at the last meeting, the Czech Republic had expressed its views and main ideas regarding the four categories of points and issues identified in the Chairperson's note. Turning to the "mechanics", she said that clarifying the views of all interested Members on a key issue like this one was crucial for achieving some progress in the Special Session's work. It was necessary, above all, to establish rules for notification and opposition procedures, which should precede effective registration. As expressed at the previous meeting, the Czech Republic attached great importance to a clear distinction between the two different phases, namely notification and registration. 36. In the course of notification, participating Members must notify to the Secretariat all geographical indications corresponding to the definition under Article 22.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. Such a notification must be accompanied by required obligatory information such as the spelling of a GI, the identification of the applicant(s), the territory from which the goods originated and the description of characteristics or qualitative features of goods, relevant national legislative provisions and decisions of national authorities on the protection approval, including the first date of effective protection. Other information could be provided by Members if they found it important or indispensable for the protection of their geographical indications against their use for goods not originating from the appropriate geographical region. 37. An integral part of the notification procedure had to be the publication of geographical indications notified by participating Members. For such a publication, a reasonable time-period and appropriate measures should be envisaged. 38. With regard to opposition, she said that all WTO Members should be in a position to protect effectively their legitimate interests, especially in cases where they felt threatened by the notification of a geographical indication by another Member. In order to ensure a sufficient basis for this protection, a transparent opposition procedure should be established. In the course of this procedure, some reasonable and proportionate time period should be given to all WTO Members to examine the future possible application and to challenge the notification. 39. Registration took place after the expiration of the time period for opposition procedure. The geographical indication should be entered into the register, if all formal requirements were met. Such a registration should have legal consequences for all WTO Members, except for those who had challenged the registration. The details of this procedure would need more clarification and specification and, on this specific point, the delegation of the Czech Republic did not yet have a clear view on such details. As a next step, the registered geographical indications should be published and Members should be informed of them. Last but not least, clear conditions for cancellation of the registration must be set.