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

Ambassador Mero (United Republic of Tanzania)
312. The Australian Government is in caretaker mode pending a national election. In this context and subject to caretaking conventions, Australia is intervening to share information about past policies and practices as regards sustainable resource and low emission technology strategies. This information is conveyed without committing any incoming government to any future action. With this understanding, Australia welcomes this exchange of national experiences and best practice on how technological innovation can drive economic growth hand in hand with emissions reductions and sustainable resource management. 313. We recognize that climate change poses significant challenges for the global trading environment as well as for people and economies more generally. Continual innovation and economic adaptability will be critical to meeting these challenges. Effective and balanced intellectual property laws and policies form part of a broader suite of measures Australia has adopted to support transition to a lower emissions economy and a more climate resilient growth. 314. Effective IP frameworks help incentivize innovation and create entrepreneurs, businesses and companies to invest their capital, build markets, new products and services, and share their knowledge and skills to foster follow on innovation. 315. For example, Australia is using science and technology to unleash the economic potential of our oceans. In October 2015, Australia called on innovators, entrepreneurs, NGOs and academics to rethink how advances in aquaculture could provide solutions that promote economic development and environmental sustainability. This aquaculture challenge runs until the end of June with the winners awarded 3 million Australian dollars to develop their innovations. 316. Australia has also supported emerging technologies to make the leap from demonstrations to commercial use. Intellectual Property Australia offers fast tracking patent examination for green technology. This initiative aims to help green innovators find a fast track to the marketplace by offering priority to environmentally friendly technologies in the patent application system. 317. Australia has sought to foster collaboration to meet the challenges of a changing climate and finite natural resources base. In particular, we have promoted the sharing of knowledge and technology to boost climate resilience and foster clean energy use especially in the Indo Pacific region. 318. As Members know, we report annually on the initiatives that we have in place to promote and encourage technology transfer by institutions and enterprises fulfilling our commitment in Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. These include projects undertaken by Australia's leading science and research organizations. A good example is the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Researchers Resilient Farming Systems Intensification project in Bangladesh. Working with farmers, researchers and institutions, this project is introducing agricultural technologies and conservation agricultural principles that increase the resilience of small holder farmers to climate change. The results data technologies and impacts that emerge from this and other Australian centres for international agricultural research development projects are published. 319. Registered intellectual property is used only when it assists in disseminating research results in the interests of helping those in the Indo Pacific region to adapt their farming, fishing or forestry practices to a variable climate. 320. Australia is also on track to become a supporter of WIPO Green under our recently extended fund and trust arrangement with the World Intellectual Property Organization. This initiative seeks to contribute to green technology, innovation and transfer, including by connecting green technology providers and seekers. Our contribution will target our Pacific neighbours and promote transfer of green technologies to meet their specific environmental needs. 321. Clean energy will play a key role in global efforts to reduce emissions and grow national economies. Australia has also been supporting climate change adaption and mitigation efforts in a number of developing countries, especially in the Indo Pacific region. We were pleased to have lent our support to the first Pacific project financed by the Green Climate Fund. This project aims to improve urban water supply and waste water management in Fiji. 322. Australia has also contributed to the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme. Our contribution will enable ten Pacific Island countries to integrate solar and wind power into electricity grids while maintaining reliability, affordability and adequacy of supply. 323. In concluding, Australia has recognized the importance of effective and balanced intellectual property settings to promote R&D capacity and incentivize investment in climate resilient and sustainable resource solutions for our common future. 324. We have welcomed information shared by other Members in this discussion and encourage others to join us in sharing their best practices and lessons learned.
The Council took note of the statements made.
10.1. The Chairman noted that this item had initially been put on the agenda at the written request by the delegations of the European Union, Japan, Switzerland and the United States; since the circulation of the initial proposed agenda, it had been co-sponsored by the delegations of Canada, Singapore and Chinese Taipei.

10.2. The representatives of Japan, the European Union, the United States, Chinese Taipei, Canada, Switzerland, India, Australia, Bangladesh, China, and the Republic of Korea took the floor.

10.3. The Chairman noted that this was the latest in a series of ad hoc agenda items on Intellectual Property and Innovation that had been added to TRIPS Council meetings since late 2012 upon request by various co-sponsors. These discussions had proven to be a valuable source of information and different views, as they touched on one of the recurring key issues, i.e. the role of IP protection in government policies to promote innovative activities.

10.4. At the informal meeting that he had held the previous week, he had therefore shared a couple of ideas on how to make best use of this discussion. These were ideas of a general character that could, of course, equally apply to any other ad hoc agenda item that delegations might request to be added to the agenda in the future. They were guided by what he believed was the Council's collective interest in consulting on and preparing for items more thoroughly that Members were choosing to add to the agenda; they were not meant to imply at all that such ad hoc agenda items should be turned into regular agenda items.

10.5. First, he took up an observation that had been made by some delegations at the informal meeting, i.e. that sponsors of ad hoc agenda items, such as the item on IP and Innovation at this meeting, should circulate a communication in advance of the meeting in order to engage other Members in an informed discussion. Indeed, and without considering this as an obligation, it would seem appropriate to encourage the sponsors of ad hoc agenda items to circulate a brief submission in writing sufficiently in advance of the meeting that provided background information regarding the subject matter concerned. This would seem to be a good way to enable delegations to prepare for a meaningful discussion of such items.

10.6. Second, at the informal meeting that had been held the previous week, he had also drawn delegations' attention to the fact that past discussions had been held on a "one-off" basis. This had made it difficult for many delegations to actively engage in them, in particular in the absence of prior documentation and an opportunity to comment at a subsequent meeting. In order to provide the framework for a more robust exchange of views, the Council might therefore wish to consider the possibility of providing delegations an opportunity to comment on any statements made during a discussion of such an item still at the Council's subsequent meeting. This would, among other things, allow delegations to comment more substantively on the issues addressed by the co-sponsors in the initial round of discussions.

10.7. Finally, at the informal meeting on 2 June, he had mentioned the possibility for the TRIPS Council to request the Secretariat to compile this information in a background note prepared under its own responsibility as one of the options that could also be explored to take the dialogue on IP and Innovation a step further so that best use could be made of the information exchanged.

10.8. He acknowledged that there were sensitivities among delegations about the distinction between regular agenda items, and one-off agenda items that require agreement for inclusion on the agenda each time. That distinction would remain clearly in place. The suggestion solely related to more systematic and consultative preparation for these agenda items, in the interests of more productive discussions for the benefit of all delegations.

10.9. The representatives of the European Union, South Africa, India, Bangladesh and Brazil took the floor.

10.10. The Council took note of the statements made.

IP/C/M/82, IP/C/M/82/Add.1