[Ip-health] IP-Watch: Innovation Hubs, Green Technology Transfer On Agenda Of TRIPS Council

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Jun 10 17:07:23 PDT 2014


Innovation Hubs, Green Technology Transfer On Agenda Of TRIPS Council

Published on 6 June 2014 @ 2:59 pm

By Catherine Saez <http://www.ip-watch.org/author/catherine/>, Intellectual
Property Watch

The World Trade Organization intellectual property committee will meet next
week with some new issues on the agenda. Ecuador has requested the
continuance of a discussion on the transfer of green technologies, and
Taiwan and the United States have proposed an agenda item on innovation

The Council <http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/intel6_e.htm> for
the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) is scheduled to take place from 11-12 June.

The agenda also includes longstanding issues, such as the patentability of
plants, geographical indications, and a review of the implementation of the
TRIPS agreement.

The new agenda item on innovation incubators requested by Taiwan and the
United States comes as next in a series of items on innovation put forward
by the US and various countries at the TRIPS Council. No further
information was available on the innovation incubators proposal at press

During the last session (in February), the US introduced an agenda item on
the role of university technology partnerships in intellectual property and
innovation (*IPW*, WTO/TRIPS, 27 February 2014
This was criticised by India, which said that developed countries take for
granted the fact that intellectual property boosts development, while
developing countries are seeing a lack of evidence to support that

In June 2013, Canada, Chile, the European Union, South Korea, Switzerland,
Taiwan and the US proposed a discussion on IP and cost-effective
innovation, also criticised by India (*IPW*, WTO/TRIPS, 13 June 2013
In September 2013, the European Union, Jamaica, Mexico and the United
States requested an agenda item on intellectual property and sports (*IPW*,
WTO/TRIPS, 29 September 2013
The first of such innovation events was proposed by Brazil and the US, in
November 2012 (*IPW*, WTO/TRIPS, 5 November 2012

Meanwhile, Ecuador has requested that the TRIPS Council again debate on the
contribution of intellectual property to facilitate the transfer of green
technology. Ecuador put forward acommunication paper
in February 2013 in which the country asked for a review of Article 31 of
TRIPS (Other Use Without Authorization of the Right Holder) in order “to
determine which of its provisions may excessively restrict access to and
dissemination” of green technologies.

The Council is also expected to continue discussion on non-violation
complaints following a decision taken at the Bali Ministerial Conference
last December, instructing member countries to reach a decision on the
subject by 2015. A moratorium on “non-violation” complaints currently
applies to the WTO TRIPS agreement. Under a non-violation complaint, a
country can bring a WTO case against another country if the complainant
country feels it has been deprived of expected benefits by the other
country’s action, despite the fact that there is violation of a WTO rule.

Most countries agree that the moratorium should be turned into a permanent
feature while a few oppose the moratorium.

Other usual topics of discussion are the relationship between the TRIPS and
the Convention on Biological Diversity, the mandated review of TRIPS
Article 27.3(b) (Patentable subject-matter – plants and animals), along
with the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. Also on the
agenda is a review of the provisions of the TRIPS section on geographical
indications with an eye to extending higher level protection to more
products, and the review of the implementation of the TRIPS under Article
71.1 (Review and amendment).

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