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.