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Intellectual Property Council Discusses Anti-Counterfeiting Pact

13-Mar-2012 | Source : | Visits : 8169
GENEVA - The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council meeting on 28-29 February 2012 discussed a number of issues, including the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. According to a press release by the World Trade Organization (WTO), it elected Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras) as its new Chair. 

Participants to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) — Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States — said their main aim was to strengthen enforcement against proliferation of counterfeit goods. They stressed that ACTA does not target generic medicines nor would interfere with legitimate access to the Internet. They also said that the agreement is transparent, and that the full text is available to the public. 

India said ACTA could undermine the TRIPS Agreement, and limit developing countries’ access to affordable medicine. It said that ACTA puts the interest of big companies ahead of consumers, citing cases of seizures by customs at European ports of generic medicines. China said many provisions of ACTA go beyond the TRIPS provisions. Brazil said one-size fits-all approach was not advisable. Bangladesh expressed concern that least-developed countries (LDCs) will lose flexibilities and access to generic medicine. Ecuador, Egypt and Thailand also expressed concerns. 

The Council continued its discussion of the agenda items on the review of the provisions of Article 27.3(b), the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore. It requested the Chair to continue the consultations on the suggestion that the CBD Secretariat be invited to brief the Council on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

The Council took up agenda items on the review of the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement under Article 71.1 and the review of the application of the provisions of the section on geographical indications under Article 24.2, and followed up its ninth annual review of developed country members’ reports on their implementation of Article 66.2. 

The Chair drew the Council’s attention to the decision by the General Council to extend the period of acceptances of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until December 31, 2013. He also drew attention to the decision of the 8th Ministerial Conference concerning the transition period for LDCs under Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.

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