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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
World Trade Organization
1. From March 2009 to November 2012, the Council had on its agenda a specific item on "Letter from the Chair of the General Council Concerning Ways to Improve the Timeliness and Completeness of Notifications and Other Information Flows". At the Council's request, the Secretariat prepared document IP/C/W/543, dated 22/10/2009, to guide us through this process. In particular, it provided a brief audit of state-of-play of notifications at that stage and provided suggestions on how to improve the timeliness and completeness of the notification system. At its meeting in November 2012, the Council requested the Secretariat to inform it at its future meetings on any further enhancements to its services improving the transparency, timeliness, completeness and user-friendliness of the notification system under the Council's regular item 1 relating to notifications under TRIPS in general. 2. The work addresses the three aspects of handling notifications, improving data capture, improving the management of the information provided, and improving its presentation and dissemination so that it is more user-friendly. The immediate focus had been to move towards full digitization of all notified material. Currently, roughly half of the 4,500 lengthy legal documents that have been notified are not directly accessible as full text searchable documents. The immediate focus of work remains to ensure that all notified materials would be readily available in text searchable form. 3. The launch in 2010 of the WIPO-WTO Common Portal for submission of notifications has improved the flow of notification materials. To supplement that portal, we are working on an online notification tool that would facilitate notifications by Members, including those that are unique to the TRIPS Agreement. 4. In addition, we can identify ideas for best practice that Members may wish to pursue. These include the simple step of notifying in a digital format a text document with minimal formatting, as well as an optional brief description of the content of the law which some Members have chosen to provide. This step is all the more important as we move towards a steady state notification stream, rather than a focus on an initial notification of the primary intellectual property laws of a Member, towards reviews and updates, and revisions of those laws where a brief description of the key elements of that law can be very helpful in navigating and making use of this material. However, that work is very much a prototype and as with other elements of this programme, we would be consulting closely with Members as the ideas are developed. The second step is more an internal consideration, improving data management and the flow of information so that we can process notifications more rapidly and smoothly while expending fewer resources. The final step is looking at ways of presenting notified materials in a more user-friendly way on the WTO website. 5. I would conclude with an outline of a current state-of-play with notifications. This supplements that baseline document from 2009 which reported on our review or audit of the current state of play of notifications. Since 2009, the number of notifications from Members updating their laws, moving beyond the initial round of notifications has noticeably picked up. In terms of overall numbers, we now have nearly 4,700 separate legal notifications of laws and regulations implemented by Members. This amounts to an average of 34 per Member, but the range is from one single notification to 221 notifications from the one Member. The number of Members updating their laws has picked up noticeably: there have been 81 updates from Members in the last 10 years, including 6 from least developed country Members, and since the last update in 2009, 37 Members have updated their laws in some way, so we can record a significant increase in the flow of material. 6. Turning to the other notification concerning laws and regulations under Article 63.2, delegates will recall that the Council established a Checklist on Enforcement to notify enforcement mechanisms under the Agreement. It is notable that 102 Members have provided responses to the checklist; however, 93 of these were filed over 10 years ago, and updates of those checklists are, by contrast with the laws and regulations, comparatively rare, occurring approximately once every three years. 7. Finally, the contact point lists concerning cooperation on enforcement under Article 69 and concerning technical cooperation have been updated more frequently, and have been presented on the website as a more useable format to facilitate contact between Members and we would encourage delegates to review those and of course update them as appropriate.
The Council took note of the statement made.
1.1. The Chairman said that, since its meeting in June 2013, the Council had received a number of updates to earlier notifications of laws and regulations notified under Article 63.2. of the TRIPS Agreement:

• Viet Nam had notified a number of "Other Laws" relating to copyright and related rights, plant varieties, industrial property, test data, and enforcement;

• Montenegro had notified its Decree promulgating the Law on Amendments to the Law on Legal Protection of Industrial Design;

• the European Union had notified Regulation (EU) No 608/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 concerning Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and Repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003;

• Botswana had notified its Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Amendment) Act, 2005; its Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Regulations, 2007; its Industrial Property Act, 2010 and its Industrial Property Regulations, 2012;

• Malaysia had notified its Industrial Designs (Amendment) Act 2013; its Industrial Designs (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and its Geographical Indications (Amendment) Regulations 2013;

• Croatia had notified a number of "Other Laws" relating to patents and to copyright collective management;

• Moldova had notified a number of laws relating to the protection of topographies of integrated circuits, industrial designs, trademarks, inventions, geographical indications, appellations of origin and traditional specialities guaranteed, and copyright and related rights, as well as a number of other secondary acts relating to these laws; and

• Switzerland had notified consolidated versions of its IP laws containing amendments made between October 2008 and May 2013.

1.2. These notifications of laws and regulations were available in the IP/N/1- series of documents, and the actual texts of laws in sub-series of documents in electronic form on the Documents Online database. In addition, Moldova had provided updated responses to the Checklist of Issues on Enforcement circulated in document IP/N/6/MDA/2.

1.3. As regards notifications of contact points under Article 69 for the exchange of information and cooperation on trade in infringing goods, since its meeting in June 2013, updates to contact points notified earlier had been received from Lesotho and Malaysia. The information on the Members' transparency toolkit page had been updated accordingly.

1.4. The Chairman urged those Members whose initial notifications of laws and regulations remained incomplete to submit the outstanding material without delay. Equally, he urged other Members to fulfil their obligation under the TRIPS Agreement to notify any subsequent amendments of their laws and regulations without delay after their entry into force. He especially encouraged Members to notify changes made to their laws and/or regulations to implement the Decision on TRIPS and public health.

1.5. The representative of the Secretariat updated the Council on its work to improve the user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness of the notification system. The statement will be reproduced in an addendum to the present record.

1.6. The Council took note of the statement made.

IP/C/M/74, IP/C/M/74/Add.1