Compte rendu ‒ Conseil des ADPIC ‒ Afficher les détails de l'intervention/la déclaration

Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China)
African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
393. The representative of OAPI thanked the Council for granting OAPI ad hoc observer status, which he hoped would develop into permanent participation in future meetings. OAPI was interested in taking part in the Council's work on technical cooperation and capacity building. It was an inter governmental organization made up of 16 member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. OAPI member States had developed a system which, unlike other inter-governmental intellectual property organizations, rested on the following principles: common and uniform legislation (the Bangui Agreement), which served both as the treaty establishing OAPI and the legislation of its member States; a common office (OAPI granted industrial property titles on behalf of the member States); and centralized procedures (acquisition and maintenance of rights as well as entry in the special registers for patents, trademarks, industrial designs etc., were centralized within the Organization). There were a number of legal consequences attached to this original and indeed unique structure. The treaty establishing OAPI was administered by the Organization which, on the basis of common and centralized procedures, granted industrial property titles on behalf of the States. There were no national systems for granting titles. Management of the administrative procedures for acquiring and maintaining rights, including relevant inter partes procedures and administrative disputes (review of rejections by the Director-General of applications for titles), were under the responsibility, respectively, of the Directorate-General and the High Commission of Appeal, two independent organs of OAPI. The idea of a common court of justice had been included in OAPI's plan of action and strategic orientation which would be submitted to the member States for consideration in 2011. For these reasons, OAPI, as the industrial property office of its member States, played a direct role in implementing the TRIPS Agreement. Its presence as observer at the meetings of the Council for TRIPS was clearly a welcome development. 394. Capacity building was at the heart of the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. To a large extent, it determined the capacity of developing countries to fulfil their obligations under the multilateral trading system in general. Capacity building began with training. OAPI was honoured that the WTO was increasingly concerned with the needs of developing countries. When establishing needs in this area, due account was to be taken of the type of training provided, the adaptation of that training, the targets, the administrative framework, and the capacity to tackle the process of implementation of the Agreement. To ensure that the training truly contributed to capacity building, the WTO and development partners needed to adapt to the specific needs of each country. In addition to training, technical cooperation consisted above all of building up the trade capacity of the developing and least developed countries. OAPI had read with great interest the information on the subject circulated by certain industrialized countries since the beginning of the Council's session. 395. The communications contained in document IP/C/W/551/Add1 testified to the efforts made by numerous developed countries in the technical cooperation area, which were most welcome. He said that, however, development assistance tended to be directed towards specific regions or countries, sometimes purely on the basis of linguistic proximity. The English-speaking countries, for example, tended to focus their cooperation on developing countries that shared their language. The same applied to the French-speaking countries, the Portuguese-speaking countries etc. The large countries of Asia tended to focus on the South-East Asia. In statistical terms, this meant that development assistance was not distributed equally, as shown, for example, in Australia's report on the incentives for transfer of technology in document IP/C/W/551/Add.1. 396. He said that there was a need to establish correlation between technical cooperation and a developing country's potential, or its capacity to absorb technologies. The cooperation provided might not match countries' needs. For example, geographical indications were a sector that could be of interest for developing countries, but it did not enjoy much attention or support. Clearly, the discussions in the Council which generally concerned additional protection of geographical indications for wines and spirits, and the establishment of a multilateral notification and registration system, could only interest developing countries if they had their own system of protection of geographical signs, and above all if they were convinced of the value of such a system to their economy.