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

Ambassador Alfredo Suescum (Panama)
Estados Unidos de América
291. The United States is encouraged by the energy WTO Members have devoted to the Work Programme on Electronic Commerce in advance of MC11. We also note that there is a wealth of work going on regarding this very important issue in other institutions, indeed as the delegation of Switzerland just noted, at WIPO, for example. 292. The United States places a strong importance on e-commerce issues and on ensuring that e commerce and digital trade realize their promise as an engine of economic growth while fully respecting intellectual property rights. Intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, have contributed to vibrant marketplaces of ideas, creative content, and the delivery of a diverse range of products. With the explosive growth of the Internet, there are more global opportunities and challenges for providing legitimate content to users through electronic and physical means. 293. The United States supports the work of the E-Commerce Work Programme to identify possible new approaches to these issues while consulting closely with this Council to ensure that our consensus views are taken into account. 294. With respect to two of the papers that were presented for this meeting, we would like to make two brief remarks. First, with respect to the delegation of Brazil's E-commerce and copyright proposal, we sincerely appreciate the communication that was prepared by the delegation of Brazil to share their views and put forward suggestions relating to e-commerce and copyright. We continue to study the paper and some of the concepts noted, and may revert back to the delegation inter-sessionally to request clarification on certain concepts contained in the proposal. 295. With respect to the Communication from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay on Electronic Signatures, we also welcome the information shared with this Council on electronic signature issues and very much appreciate the input. While we take note of the important role electronic signatures already plays in facilitating trade and commerce on the internet, we recognize that our colleagues in other WTO bodies may well be best suited to consider the issues raised in this paper. The general approach of the United States is to accept the legal validity of electronic signatures, provided that both parties to a transaction have mutually agreed upon its acceptability. With respect to IP, I would like to share that the US Patent and Trademark Office has for ten years accepted electronic signatures. The United States is happy to share further details on this issue inter-sessionally for any delegation that is interested.
The Council took note of the statements made.
69. The Chairman informed the Council that, to prepare the discussion under this item, Brazil had submitted a communication on Electronic Commerce and Copyright (document JOB/IP/19) which had been co-sponsored by Argentina. He suggested that Brazil introduce the agenda item and discuss the issues that it was proposing for consideration, and that the Council then turn to three other submissions related to the Work Programme on E-Commerce which the respective co-sponsors might wish to introduce.

70. He recalled the most recent mandate in the field of e-commerce and the state of play of the work. At MC10 in December 2015, Ministers had decided to "continue the work under the Work Programme based on the existing mandate and guidelines and on the basis of proposals submitted by Members in the relevant WTO bodies". They had also instructed the General Council to hold periodic reviews "based on the reports that may be submitted by the WTO bodies entrusted with the implementation of the Work Programme and report to the next session of the Ministerial Conference" (document WT/MIN(15)/42 – WT/L/977).

71. In June 2017, the TRIPS Council had resumed discussions on e-commerce. This discussion had been based on Canada's written submission circulated in document IP/C/W/613. Canada had shared its national experience to fight the selling of counterfeit products over the internet. At the Council's meeting in November 2016, Canada had called for a continuation of the sharing of national experiences and practices as this would support the Council to respond to the Ministerial mandate. In line with the addendum to its earlier communication (document IP/C/W/613/Add.1) Canada had also said that it wished to consult with other delegations on how to advance the Work Programme on E-Commerce in this Council. It had been joined by a number of other delegations.

72. The Chairman also referred to three other communications under this item: a communication on Electronic Signatures that had been co-sponsored by the delegations of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay (document JOB/IP/20); a communication on Trade Policy, the WTO and the Digital Economy that had been circulated at the request of the delegations of Canada; Chile; Colombia; Côte d'Ivoire; the European Union; the Republic of Korea; Mexico; Montenegro; Paraguay; Singapore and Turkey (JOB/IP/21 of 13 January 2017); and a communication on Electronic Commerce and Development, recently circulated in document JOB/IP/22 at the request of the delegations of Brunei Darussalam; Colombia; Costa Rica; Hong Kong, China; Israel; Malaysia; Mexico; Nigeria; Pakistan; Panama; Qatar; Seychelles; Singapore and Turkey.

73. The representatives of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC Group, Switzerland, the United States, Norway, the European Union, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Canada, the Republic of Moldova, Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Colombia, the Russian Federation, Chile, the Republic of Korea, India and New Zealand took the floor.

74. The Chairman said that, in light of the discussions and the earlier exchange of views at the Council's meetings in June and November 2016, there seemed to be a continuing interest of delegations in discussing issues related to intellectual property and e-commerce. He therefore encouraged Members to consider how to carry forward issues related to e-commerce in the TRIPS Council. An in-depth debate would, indeed, constitute a sound basis for the Council to contribute to the periodic review that the General Council had been requested to hold, as well as to provide input for the General Council report to the next Ministerial Conference. Such a discussion would be an opportunity to create a clear and inclusive factual picture of the current state of affairs as the foundation for informed dialogue between Members.

75. The Council took note of the statements made.

IP/C/M/85, IP/C/M/85/Add.1