Chair of the TRIPS-SS, Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad, releases report on intellectual property issues

Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad of Pakistan, who is the Chairperson of the negotiations on TRIPS issues, chiefly, for the creation of a system for registering geographical indications for wines and spirits, issued his factual report on the state of play in the TRIPS talks on the 9th of June 2008. The talks chaired by Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad of Pakistan take place in negotiating sessions of the TRIPS Council on a multilateral register for geographical indications for wines and spirits. They are part of the "single undertaking" of the Doha Development Agenda.

This is the latest report in series of "Chairs texts" being released towards the build up for the Ministerial, which was announced by the DG of the WTO , to be held during the week of 21 July 2008 at the WTO headquarters at Geneva. For this meeting, a selected number of Ministers (including Pakistan) would be invited. The focus of this meeting is to finalize modalities on Agriculture and NAMA although some members are pushing for discussion on three other Doha Round issues i.e., Rules, Services and TRIPS-related issues.

Director-General Pascal Lamy also issued a factual report on his consultations with members on whether to extend enhanced protection for geographical indications beyond wines and spirits (GI extension), and on the issues of erroneously granted patents, traditional knowledge and biodiversity (TRIPS-CBD disclosure amendment). Director-General Pascal Lamy's consultations come under the heading of "implementation" which according to a large majority of WTO's members also forms part of the Doha Development Agenda.

Both reports are factual accounts of the latest state of the discussions and do not propose how members might compromise on their interests. A few members, chiefly, the developed ones, do not see eye to eye on whether these three subjects should be part of the "horizontal process" and whether they should be linked at all. However, an alliance of more than 110 members of the WTO, comprising both the developed and developing ,think they should be linked and discussed at the Ministerial next month as they are all concerned with IPRs.