Comptes rendus ‒ Session extraordinaire du Conseil des ADPIC ‒ Afficher les détails de l'intervention /la déclaration

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea)
Union européenne
C.3.b What is meant by a "system of notification and registration"
59. The representative of the European Communities clarified a point that had raised some confusion at the last meeting concerning documentation to be provided together with the notified GI. Paragraph B.3 of the EC proposal stated that "notification to the Secretariat shall be accompanied by copies of national legislative, administrative or judicial decisions and, if necessary, bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements indicating the date on which each geographical indication first received protection in the country of origin". Certain Members had argued that this would imply an excessive cost because voluminous bilateral agreements would have to be included in the notification, and that translation of those agreements would be very costly for the WTO Secretariat. Regarding copies of national legislation, he said that the requirement of giving a reference to, or a copy of, the relevant legislation could largely be met since such legislation had already been notified as part of the TRIPS review of national legislation and was in principle available to all Members. The necessity to add copies of national legislation could therefore be substituted by a cross-reference to the document in which such legislation had been notified to the TRIPS Council. On the question of bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements, the EC proposal had largely been misunderstood and misinterpreted: the EC's intention was to cover cases where GIs were not protected under national law but where the basis for the protection in the country of origin was actually a regional agreement. A good example of that was the Bangui Agreement, under which titles of protection for GIs protected in the country of origin had effect in all the countries party to that agreement. It was that type of international agreement that his delegation thought should be part of the notification or at least cross-referenced in the notification. It was not the EC's intention to request countries to notify voluminous bilateral agreements if those agreements were not the basis for protection of a GI in the country of origin. 60. With respect to the issue of opposition raised by Japan, he said that under the EC proposal, Members might, during the 18-month period following notification, examine the notified GIs and file a challenge prior to the expiry of that period. In response to certain delegations which had complained that 18 months was too short a period to gather sufficient information to determine, for instance, whether a name or a term was generic, he said that during the 18-month period and for purposes of notification, Members did not need to make a final determination on whether a name was generic or not. What his delegation had proposed was that Members gather prima facie evidence on whether a name might have become generic. That did not mean that all possible lines of defence and pieces of evidence had to be provided, but that at least the opposition should be initially founded and there should be some evidence that the name might have become generic. Afterwards and in the course of the negotiations that both Members might establish following the opposition, the situation might be clarified. 61. Regarding translations, his delegation believed that the notification of a GI, (i.e., term or terms that were part of the GI) should be done in the language of the country of origin. The rest of the information regarding the notification such as the law under which the term was first protected and any relevant bilateral or regional agreements should be notified in one of the three official languages of the WTO (English, French or Spanish). The EU's experience had shown that this type of notification should not be any longer than one or two A4 pages as most of the information was already available in the WTO. The information notified in one of the WTO languages would have to be translated into the other two official languages and then distributed to the rest of the WTO Members. The notifications that would be distributed to WTO Members might prompt national administrations to examine whether any of the exceptions, for example regarding generics, would apply. For that purpose, they might be interested in determining what the translation of the notified term in their own language was in order to determine whether the name in that translation had been used as a generic. His delegation believed that the responsibility to determine what the translation of the notified term was lay with the national administration concerned, because it was a matter of sovereignty. For example, determination of the appropriate translation of a notified term like "Tokay" into Chinese would be done by the Chinese administration. It seemed to his delegation that the burden on national administrations in relation to the question of translations would be limited to the translation of a specific term for which protection was sought. In other words, the costs to the Chinese administration regarding the protection of the name "Tokay" would be to translate a single word, "Tokay", into Chinese. Therefore, the burden of translating a single word or two words at maximum per translation did not seem too great.