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Members agree on recommendation to extend moratorium on IP “non-violation” cases

At today’s meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), WTO members agreed on a draft ministerial decision on so-called non-violation and situation complaints in the area of intellectual property (IP). The decision is expected to be adopted at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) to be held in Geneva on 30 November — 3 December.

The draft decision on “TRIPS non-violation and situation complaints” for the Ministerial Conference says:

“We take note of the work done by the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights pursuant to the General Council Decision of 10 December 2019 on “TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints” (WT/L/1080), and direct it to continue its examination of the scope and modalities for complaints of the types provided for under subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 and make recommendations to the 13th Ministerial Conference. It is agreed that, in the meantime, Members will not initiate such complaints under the TRIPS Agreement.”

The chair of the TRIPS Council, Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli of Norway, thanked members for their engagement and cooperation on this matter. “I should hope that having adopted this recommendation well ahead of MC12 will send a positive signal to Ministers, and will allow us to focus on the other items on our agenda that still remain to be resolved,” he said.