Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (June08/17)
No change in positions on TRIPS disclosure, "parallelism"
Geneva, 18 Jun (Kanaga Raja) -- Positions remained unchanged at a TRIPS Council meeting Tuesday on the issue of amending the TRIPS agreement to require patent applicants to disclose the origin of genetic material, as well as whether the three issues of GI register, GI extension and TRIPS disclosure should be included in the "horizontal" negotiations ("parallelism").
to trade officials, the formal TRIPS Council meeting also discussed
information supplied by
Trade officials said that the attempt to include three issues among the subjects to be discussed "horizontally" along with the modalities in agriculture and NAMA was the most discussed topic at the Council meeting.
The three issues are: geographical indications register for wines and spirits, proposals to begin negotiations on extending the higher level of protection given to wines and spirits to other geographical indications, and requiring patent applicants to disclose the origin of genetic material or traditional knowledge used in their inventions.
Trade officials said that positions remained unchanged on these.
Tuesday's discussion, they said, raised two questions. One was the debate on the misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge and whether amending the TRIPS Agreement to require disclosure in patent applications is the most effective solution.
According to trade officials, positions remain unchanged on this.
The other was on "parallelism" - the question whether all three issues of GI register, GI extension and TRIPS disclosure should be included in the forthcoming "horizontal" negotiations.
Trade officials said that those in favour are seeking negotiations based on texts or draft agreements on all three subjects. Those against are of the view that more technical discussion and empirical evidence is needed before moving to "text-based" negotiations.
According to trade officials, speaking for both TRIPS disclosure and "parallelism" were India, Indonesia, the least developed countries (Uganda speaking), Brazil, Ecuador, China, Switzerland (which favours disclosure but not necessarily through the TRIPS), Mauritius (as a member of the African Group and African-Caribbean-Pacific group), Peru, Colombia, Thailand, Nepal, the EU (which favours disclosure but outside patent law), Norway, Venezuela and Turkey.
a statement at the meeting,
is general agreement among members on preventing bio-piracy, erroneously
granted patents and enhancing mutual supportiveness between the TRIPS
Agreement and the CBD. The Disclosure Proposal seeks to meet these objectives
through amendment of TRIPS Agreement to include mandatory disclosure
requirements, prior informed consent and access and benefit sharing,
thus meeting the three core concerns of the CBD, said India. It must
therefore, be recognised that this issue is
a critical deliverable for developing countries and an integral part
of the development outcome, added
the issue of "parallelism",
100 Members are unanimous that the issues of TRIPS disclosure requirement,
GI Register and GI Extension must be included as part of the horizontal
process for Ministerial guidance. They are also unanimous that the modalities
texts must reflect Ministerial agreement on the key parameters with
respect to each of these issues, said
officials said that those who spoke for TRIPS disclosure but against
"parallelism" were the
speaking against both were the
According to trade officials, Chinese Taipei said that it is still undecided on the issue of "disclosure" but opposes parallelism.
to trade officials,
As regards technical assistance and technology transfer for least developed countries, Uganda said that it has translated its initial priority needs assessment (document IP/C/W/500) into a "national capacity-building programme" (IP/C/W/510).
to trade officials, earlier in the week, the two countries held consultations
with a number of developed countries (including
to trade officials,
Viet Nam - which joined the WTO in January 2007 - replied to questions on its intellectual property laws under the standard "review of legislation", which all members applying the TRIPS Agreement have to go through.
According to trade officials, Members continued to disagree on whether the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity should be an observer in the Council, even if invited ad hoc meeting-by-meeting.
Ambassador Gail Mathurin of