715. At the last session of the Council under this item we provided a brief update on recent developments concerning trade-related aspects of IPRs taking place elsewhere in the WTO, specifically in the parallel work of the TPR mechanism. In the context of our technical overhaul of the information services provided to Members, reported already to this session of the Council, we are looking to ways of making existing information more readily available and useful for Members. This includes ways of making available cross-cutting information from other processes in the WTO relevant to the general area of trade-related aspects of IPRs. It is part of the broader effort of making information available to Members in a manner that is more suited to contemporary ways of working with information rather than relying necessarily on documents alone. As background therefore, we provide a further update on these developments for the information of delegates.
716. This brief outline does not seek to cover all of the many areas of trade-related IP measures and experiences that have been reported in recent TPRs. There is simply too much and too diverse a wealth of information to cover in a brief report. So we will focus on those areas that have been of particular interest in the TPR mechanism where Members have sought further information from each other, put questions to each other concerning their domestic measures.
717. So in the four months since the last report, since the June meeting of this Council, nine Members have gone through the TPR process. These nine reviews have covered a very wide range of trade-related aspects of IPRs and related measures. We therefore provide just an overview by heading of those areas covered. One area has been the approach to exhaustion regimes, the application of international exhaustion in the domestic legal system. In the field of copyright and related rights, the measures discussed include copyright and copyright registration and management organizations, the use of copyright statutory licences, State accreditation for collective copyright management. In the area of trademarks the discussions have covered trademark invalidation processes, the protection of well-known trademarks including regional arrangements for such trademark protection. Geographical indications have also been discussed in these review processes. In the patent field, a number of measures and mechanisms have been discussed. These include expedited screening and examination of green technology patents, patentability criteria more generally, compulsory licensing of patents, patent fees and other aspects of patent administration. There has been consideration of trade secret protection and test data protection under the TRIPS Agreement, as well as measures to address anti-competitive practices relating to the IP licensing.
718. Concerning administration and enforcement of IP, discussions have covered enforcement measures – both online and at the border – adjudication procedures, judicial review of administrative decisions, preliminary injunctions and other aspects of judicial process, as well as a range of other elements of the administration and enforcement framework for IP including the establishment of a specific IPR court. Other areas have included a discussion of the coverage of IP royalty payments in customs evaluation methodologies.
719. More generally, the reviews have also covered national policies and strategies aimed at fostering innovation and promoting the use of IP as a tool for economic growth. This is just an incomplete sample of those areas that Members themselves have shown an interest in the TPR process. This is not intended to suggest anything, but may be of background interest to delegates working on these issues. While the information is available in the TPR documentation, we acknowledge that it can sometimes be difficult to trace this systematically. If there is any interest on the part of any individual delegation, we would be happy to sit with them and point them to the relevant material. As I stress this is really just for the background information of Members.