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Review of the implementing legislation

Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement requires Members to notify the laws and regulations made effective by that Member pertaining to the subject-matter of the Agreement to the Council for TRIPS in order to assist the Council in its review of the operation of the Agreement.

These notifications are the basis for reviews of implementing legislation carried out by the Council.

Initially, the review exercise focused on those WTO Members who no longer benefit from a transition period, i.e. the developed countries.

The Council started reviews in July 1996 with an examination of the legislation of developed country Members in the area of copyright and related rights.

It continued in November 1996 with the legislation in the areas of trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs, and in May 1997 with the legislation in the areas of patents, layout-designs of integrated circuits, undisclosed information and the control of anti-competitive practices in contractual licences. Legislation in the area of enforcement is scheduled for review in the third week of November 1997.

In 2000 reviews began for countries that had delayed notifying their laws until 2000. This set of reviews are taking place in 2000 and 2001. The countries concerned are the following, although many of these members put into effect national legislation to implement much of the TRIPS Agreement before 1 January 2000:

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, C˘te d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland (areas for which not reviewed in ‘96–’98), Qatar, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

The procedures for these reviews provide for written questions and replies prior to the review meeting, with follow-up questions and replies during the course of the meeting. At subsequent meetings of the Council, an opportunity is given to follow up points emerging from the review session which delegations consider have not been adequately addressed.

The record of the introductory statements made by delegations, the questions put to them and the responses given in the reviews in these four areas are being or will be circulated, respectively, in the IP/Q/, IP/Q2/, IP/Q3/ and IP/Q4/ series of documents. These documents are initially circulated on a restricted basis, and generally considered for derestriction six months after the date of their circulation, after which they are made available in the the WTO on-line document database. 

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  • Review of any legislation (searches for document code IP/Q*)
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  • Review of legislation on copyright and related rights (searches for document code IP/Q/*)
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  • Review of legislation on trademarks, geographical indications and industrial designs (searches for document code IP/Q2/*)
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  • Review of legislation on patents, layout-designs of integrated circuits, undisclosed information and the control of anti-competitive practices in contractual licences (searches for document code IP/Q3/*)
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  • Review of legislation on enforcement (searches for document code IP/Q4/*)
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