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

Mr. W. Armstrong (New Zealand)
World Trade Organization
C Notifications under Article 4(d)
19. The representative of the Secretariat confirmed, in response to the first point raised by the delegation of Switzerland, that the sentences in question referred, inter alia, to regional agreements. The point that had been made in this connection in the negotiations was the broad scope of the national treatment obligation in the TRIPS area which ensured that, subject to a few relatively minor exceptions, a Member had to give no less favourable treatment to the nationals of other Members than it gave to its own nationals, whether or not the Member in question formed part of a regional arrangement. As a consequence, the scope for regional preferences, or preferences in other international agreements for that matter, was rather small, unless regional preferences involved an individual country, Member of the WTO, giving to the nationals of other countries of the regional unit in question more favourable treatment than it gave to its own nationals. In response to the second point raised by the delegation of Switzerland relating to a clause that would have explicitly allowed for more favourable treatment on the basis of bilateral agreements on geographical indications provided that non-party WTO Members were entitled to the same treatment on the same conditions and that there would be an obligation to be willing to enter into good faith negotiations to this end, he said that it had been the Secretariat's understanding that the proponents of the clause had ceased to push for it because they had come to the view that specific commitments to protect individual geographical names were inherently non-MFNable. Judging by the intervention of the Swiss delegate, the Secretariat's understanding of this matter was erroneous as far as Switzerland was concerned.