Actas - Consejo de los ADPIC - Ver detalles de la intervención/declaración

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
110. The representative of Australia congratulated the Chairman for his initiative in putting forward a list of issues aiming at facilitating a more systematic discussion and agreed that the list was meant to be non-exhaustive. One could get the impression from the Checklist that this exercise was essentially about clarifying legal issues, the impact on producers and consumers, and the administrative costs of possible additional protection. In his view, the issues went well beyond what was described in the Checklist. They went to the heart of trade policy issues and to consequences for governments. 111. A week before the meeting a major report had been published by the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR)2, which surveyed the promises and pitfalls of intellectual property rights for developing countries. Its central message, as portrayed by the media, was that developing countries should avoid committing themselves to rich world systems of IPR protection, unless such systems were beneficial to their needs. Nor, it suggested, should rich countries push for anything stronger. It was interesting that in this report, which was generally critical of the Agreement and the costs of establishing intellectual property rights systems, when it addressed geographical indications it said that "in our view it is far from clear whether these countries, developing countries, will be able to gain significantly from the application of geographical indications". It suggested that further research was needed before developing countries should contemplate any new commitments, and this, as he understood it, was the approach Brazil had adopted. In his view, there had not been a thorough airing of the important policy implications of additional protection. Some delegations had argued that equity demanded that if additional protection for wines and spirits existed there should also be similar protection for other products. This completely ignored the fact that the bulk of Members made no distinction between the protection of Article 22 and the protection of Article 23 in their home markets. It also ignored the fact that Article 23 protected one large group of wine producing countries at the expense of new competitors. Why had all other wine producing nations expressed serious concerns at the new wine regulations that had been introduced by one Member, under the partial guise of the TRIPS Agreement, if they were happy with the way in which the so-called additional protection had been implemented? Additional protection merely meant that those countries which applied protection at the border now wanted to apply protection extra territorially. 112. The representative of Australia said that the use, in the Checklist of Issues, of the phrase "new unauthorized usage of geographical indications" was inaccurate. Any decision about whether a geographical indication was authorized or not was a decision to be made by individual Members in the market concerned. Like all other forms of intellectual property rights protection, such as patents and copyrights, it was for national governments, not an international organization, to decide whether a term was permitted or not. If a Member wanted to exercise its rights under the DSU, it could do so, but as he understood it there had not been one case in which the Appellate Body had declared that a geographical indication was not authorized under the TRIPS Agreement. He also recalled that the Argentine delegation had asked at the last meeting that those demandeurs who had commonly used the word "usurped" should not use that term and the same should apply to any Secretariat paper which mentioned unauthorized use of geographical indications. This went to the wider issue of the framing of some of the issues in the document and the characterization of respective positions. It was not clear that there had been a ''fair amount of discussion" on the differences between the general level of protection and the additional level of protection or very much discussion at all on the adequacy of Article 22-type protection. He concluded by saying that Australia was ready to address the issues identified in the Checklist, on the clear understanding that it would revert to them later on in the meeting.

2 Integrating Intellectual Property Rights an Development Policy. Report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights. London, September 2002.