Notifications under the TRIPS Agreement
The TRIPS Agreement obliges the WTO Members to make certain notifications to the Council for TRIPS. These notifications facilitate the Council's work of monitoring the operation of the Agreement and promote the transparency of Members' policies on intellectual property protection. In addition, Members wishing to avail themselves of certain possibilities provided in the Agreement that relate to the substantive obligations have to notify the Council. In order to implement these notification obligations, the Council has adopted procedures and guidelines relating to them. In addition, the Members have agreed to make certain notifications which are not regulated in the Agreement.
Information on notifications relating to technical cooperation can be found under Technical Cooperation in the TRIPS area.
information on the notification procedures can be found
in the Technical Cooperation Handbook on Notification
Requirements: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights.
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Notifications under Article 63.2
Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement requires Members to notify the laws and regulations made effective pertaining to the subject-matter of the Agreement (the availability, scope, acquisition, enforcement and prevention of the abuse of intellectual property rights). The procedures for the notification of national laws and regulations under Article 63.2 are contained in document IP/C/2. These procedures provide that, as of the time that a Member is obliged to start applying a provision of the TRIPS Agreement, the corresponding laws and regulations shall be notified without delay (normally within 30 days, except where otherwise provided by the TRIPS Council).
The procedures make a distinction between so-called main dedicated intellectual property laws and regulations and other laws and regulations. Document IP/C/2, paragraphs 6 and 9, and document IP/C/W/8 contain some guidelines for dividing the laws and regulations into these two categories. Main laws and regulations have to be notified in English, French or Spanish; other laws and regulations can be notified in a Member's national language even if this is not one of those three languages. Translations of laws and regulations must be accompanied by the authentic texts of the laws and regulations in question in a national language.
The national treatment and MFN obligations of Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the TRIPS Agreement became applicable to all Members from 1 January 1996, including those Members that avail themselves of the transitional periods provided in Articles 65.2 and 66.1 of the Agreement. The Council for TRIPS has recognized that Members have a number of options for meeting their obligation to notify those laws and regulations that correspond to the national treatment and MFN obligations of Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the Agreement. Further information on these options can be found in document IP/C/9.