TRIPS: COUNCIL WORK
TRIPS Council regular meetings
The Council for TRIPS (“TRIPS Council”) is the body legally responsible for administering and monitoring the operation of the TRIPS Agreement (Article 68). In its regular meetings, the TRIPS Council serves as a forum for discussion between members on key issues. It is open to all WTO members and observers. The current chair is
Work of the TRIPS Council in regular meetings
The Council discusses and reviews membersĺ domestic laws implementing the TRIPS Agreement. Transparency mechanisms, such as TRIPS notification obligations, questionnaires and exchanges of questions and replies among WTO members, help the Council monitor the operation of the Agreement.
The Council annually reviews reports on technical cooperation and capacity-building activities as well as on developed countries' implementation of the obligation to provide incentives to their industries to transfer technology to least developed countries (LDCs). In addition, it reviews the functioning of the system that permits the granting of compulsory licences for export of medicines.
The TRIPS Agreement contains a “built-in” agenda to review TRIPS provisions on geographical indications and biotechnology patenting and to examine the scope and modalities of non-violation complaints. The Council also has a number of other standing agenda items, including on observer status, the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity and the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore.
Additional issues are being discussed on an ad hoc basis, such as access to medicines and public health, climate change, electronic commerce, the enforcement of intellectual property rights, intellectual property and innovation, intellectual property and the public interest, and issues of particular interest to LDCs.
The Council is also a forum for clarifying or interpreting provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Members occasionally raise issues before the Council for information-sharing purposes or to discuss the application of the Agreement in a particular context. To the extent these issues involve differences between WTO members, the aim is, whenever possible, to resolve them without the need for recourse to dispute settlement.
IGO observer status
International intergovernmental organizations may request observer status before the TRIPS Council to follow discussions on matters of interest. A number of requests have been granted by the Council, while others remain pending.
TRIPS Council documents
Search TRIPS Council meeting minutes.
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