[Ip-health] SCP28: Opening statement of the Asia & the Pacific Group

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon Jul 9 03:39:49 PDT 2018


https://www.keionline.org/28322
--SCP28: Opening statement of the Asia & the Pacific Group
Posted on July 9, 2018 <https://www.keionline.org/28322> by Thiru
<https://www.keionline.org/author/thiru>

On 9 July 2018, Indonesia delivered this opening statement on behalf of the
Asia & the Pacific Group at the 28th session of the WIPO Standing Committee
on the Law of Patents (SCP).
------------------------------

Opening Statement by the Republic of Indonesia on behalf of the Asia & the
Pacific Group at the 28th session of the SCP

9 July 2018

Mr. Chair,

Indonesia is honored to deliver this statement on behalf of the Asia and
the Pacific Group.

The Group is happy to see you again Mr. Chair. Allow us to express our
confidence in your experience and leadership skills. We are hopeful that
you will be able to guide this session and the upcoming session of the SCP
towards successful outcomes. The group would also like to put on record its
appreciation for the hard work put in by the WIPO Secretariat in
preparation for this meeting.

Mr. Chair,

The Asia and the Pacific Group notes that even when minimum international
standards of patent protection were set out by the Paris Convention and the
TRIPS Agreement, the patent laws essentially remain territorial.

As a result, countries have significant room or “flexibility” to formulate
domestic patent laws. Maintaining this flexibility is critical for policy
planners to craft, amend or delay domestic patent laws in accordance with
national development priorities and social and economic realities.

TRIPS flexibilities take into consideration these differences. It allows
governments – especially in countries with limited resources – the
necessary policy space to meet their health needs and at the same time
foster innovation.

Hence, the work of this committee is very important in creating a balance
between the rights of patent owners and the larger public interest
particularly in the area of public health, technology transfer and patent
related flexibilities.

Members of the Asia and the Pacific group will constructively participate
and contribute towards a productive discussion on these issues.

Mr. Chair,

Members of the Asia and the Pacific Group are looking forward to the
sharing session on opposition and administrative revocation mechanisms; to
the sharing experiences of Member States on cooperation between patent
offices in search and examination; sharing experiences of Member States
with respect to enhancing examiners capacity, particularly in small and
medium sized offices; sharing session on opposition and administrative
revocation mechanisms; exchange of information regarding publicly
accessible databases on patent information status and data on medicines and
vaccines; sharing session on the experiences of Member States in
implementing the confidentiality of communication between clients and their
patent advisors; sharing information on patent law provisions that
contributed to effective transfer of technology.

Member of the Asia and the Pacific Group are hopeful that the information
exchanges and the sharing sessions that will be held in this session of the
SCP will provide better understanding to improve and further enhance the
efficiency of the current patent system in a manner sensitive to the
diverse needs of the Member States.

We would also like to thank the Secretariat for Document SCP/28/2 on the
Report on the International Patent System and encourage that such practice
to update the SCP electronic forum website based on input received from
Member States should be continued.

Mr. Chair,

The Group looks forward to the discussion on exceptions and limitations to
patent rights. We would like to thank the Secretariat for the Second Draft
Reference Document on Exceptions Documents regarding acts for obtaining
regulatory approval from Authorities, document SCP/28/3 and 3.add. The Asia
and the Pacific Group looks forward to the discussion of the draft
reference and hope that work on the draft would be continued until
completion.

The Asia and the Pacific Group also looks forward to the discussion of
Document SCP/28/4 on the study on inventive step, as well as to the
discussion of Document SCP/28/6 on WIPO’s technical assistance activities
relating to enhancing examiners capacity. The Group has also taken note
Document SCP/28/5 and will engage constructively on the discussion on the
disclosure INN in patent applications and patents.

Mr. Chair,

With regard to patent and health, as the Group has stated in previous
session of this committee, we would like to draw the attention of this
Committee to the Report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High
Level Panel on Access to Medicine. It has specifically explored the policy
incoherence between IP, trade and human rights and has made a number of
recommendations in this regard. Some of these recommendations are
specifically addressed to WIPO. Hence, Asia Pacific Group would like to
request the SCP to initiate this exploratory discussion based on this
important report.

The Group has taken note the proposal by the Delegation of Argentina,
Brazil, Canada, and Switzerland to conduct a review of existing research on
patents and access to medical products and health technologies, as well as
to consider the role of the patent system in promoting the development of
new medical products and advancement of health technologies. The Group is
looking forward to the discussion on the said proposal.

As the Group has stated as well in the previous session of this committee,
the Asia and the Pacific Group would like to draw attentions to the fact
that a protocol amending the WTO TRIPS Agreement that would enable
developing countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in
the pharmaceutical sector to import cheaper generic medicines produced
under compulsory licencing finally came into force.

Under paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public
Health of 2001, Ministers recognised that “WTO Members with insufficient or
no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector could face
difficulties in making effective use of compulsory licensing under the
TRIPS Agreement.”

It is an extremely important amendment that gives legal certainty that
medicines can be exported at reasonable prices to satisfy the needs of
countries with no pharmaceutical production capacity, or those with limited
capacity, we hope this committee could also consider a work programme to
support Members’ commitment and brought this important measure into force
in accordance with the mandate of the Committee and the organization.

Mr. Chair

Asia Pacific Group supports the idea that SCP should have discussions on
the opposition systems. The Committee should give equal prominence to the
issue of opposition systems in the SCP’s work as patent quality. There
should be a work programme on opposition systems that could, comprise a
questionnaire survey on the different kinds of opposition mechanisms
available in a country, the procedures and modalities for their use,
constraints in using the opposition system effectively and how such
opposition systems could be strengthened and their constraints removed.

The Asia & the Pacific group is of the view that the SCP should arrive at a
common understanding on what is meant by “quality of patents” – does it
mean efficiency of patent offices in disposing patent applications, or does
it mean the quality of patents granted that is how to ensure that patent
offices do not grant patents of questionable validity. Our group would like
to request the WIPO Secretariat to provide regular information to the
member States about the outcome of patent applications in different
jurisdictions as well as outcomes of opposition procedures.

The Group takes note of the proposal to pursue work on Quality of Patent
and the patent grant process put forward by Czech Republic, Kenya, Mexico,
Singapore, and the United Kingdom. We are looking forward to the discussion
of the proposal as reflected in document SCP/28/8.

Noting that Article 29.2 of TRIPS Agreement states that a Party to the
TRIPS Agreement may require patent applicants to provide information about
the applicant’s corresponding foreign applications and grants.

Mr. Chair

Members of the Group will intervene in their national capacity on specific
agenda items. We look forward to a productive session under your able
guidance.

I thank you.



-- 
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org


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