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

Ambassador W. Armstrong (New Zealand)
I Review of the application of the provisions of the Section on geographical indications under Article 24.2
48. The representative of India expressed the interest of his delegation in following up some of the ideas contained in the non-paper submitted by the European Community at the September meeting and especially the proposals that had just been outlined by the Community representative. Article 24.2 of the TRIPS Agreement called for keeping under review the application of the provisions of Section 3 of Part II of the Agreement, with the first review being within two years of the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. His delegation was happy that the TRIPS Council had decided, as reflected in its report to the Singapore Ministerial Conference, that such a review would include the scope of the protection of geographical indications. Geographical indications were protected under Article 22 against use in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good or any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition. Under Article 23, geographical indications for wines and spirits were provided an absolute protection even where the use was of such a nature as not to mislead the public as to the true place of origin. It was his delegation's view that it was within the jurisdiction of the TRIPS Council to interpret these Articles harmoniously under the review envisaged under Article 24.2. His country was committed to its obligations under the Agreement regarding additional protection for these products and would be naturally interested in seeking such additional protection for products of interest to it, such as food products. In his delegation's view, this issue had to be addressed under the continuous review proposed under Article 24.2. It was important that solutions to his country's concerns should be discussed in the TRIPS Council even while looking at the preliminary work on the multilateral system of notification and registration for wines under Article 23.4. This was because one of the solutions could well be to expand the scope of Article 23 to cover products of interest to other WTO Members. In such a case, Article 23.4 would have to take into account such additional products, as it was unlikely that the registration or judicial authorities in different Members would be familiar with the geographical indications originating in other Members. Further, the administrative burden in examining each application for registration as a geographical indication (or as a trademark) could be immensely reduced by such a system of notification. One option which could be considered by the Council was to devise a method to entitle Members which afforded protection to geographical indications originating from the jurisdiction of other Members at a higher level than that required under Article 22, at their request, to seek and obtain the same higher level of protection for products of interest to them from those Members. These were the preliminary views of his delegation on this matter; he would revert to this issue in more detail, with appropriate inputs, when the Council considered the process of the Article 24.2 review at its subsequent meeting. At this moment, his delegation would like the Council to appreciate its concern, since it required discussion, and a resolution, well before the expiration of the transitional period allowed to some Members under Article 65 of the Agreement.