TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov11/04)
25 November 2011
Third World Network

LDC TRIPS extension and non-violation for MC8
Published in SUNS #7264 dated 21 November 2011

Geneva, 18 Nov (Kanaga Raja) - The TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has agreed on two draft decisions to be adopted by ministers at the upcoming eighth Ministerial Conference (MC8) in Geneva in December.

According to trade officials, ministers will now be expected to ask the Council to consider an extension of the current deadline of 1 July 2013 for LDCs to implement the TRIPS Agreement.

The LDCs had tabled a proposal on this issue on 15 November (see SUNS #7261 dated 16 November 2011.)

Trade officials said that informal consultations among a small group of countries led to a shorter draft decision for the Ministerial Conference.

The draft decision agreed at the 17 November Council meeting states: "Ministers invite the TRIPS Council to give full consideration to a duly motivated request from Least Developed Country Members for an extension of their transition period under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, and report thereon to the WTO Ninth Ministerial Conference."

The other draft decision that was agreed to pertains to TRIPS non-violation complaints.

The draft decision on "TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints" for the Ministerial Conference states: "We take note of the work done by the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to our decision of 2 December 2009 on 'TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints' (WT/L/783), and direct it to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to our next Session, which we have decided to hold in 2013. It is agreed that, in the meantime, Members will not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement."