TRIPS Agreement: Technical cooperation to implement the TRIPS Agreement (Art. 67)

Article 67 stipulates that “developed members shall provide, on request and on mutually agreed terms and conditions, technical and financial cooperation in favour of developing and least-developed members“.

Paragraph 2 of the Decision of the TRIPS Council on the Extension of the Transitional Period under Article 66.1 of the Agreement for Least-Developed Country Members requested LDCs to provide as much information as possible on their individual priority needs for technical and financial cooperation in order to assist them to implement the TRIPS Agreement, preferably by 1 January 2008. Developed country Members shall provide technical and financial cooperation in favour of LDCs in order to effectively address these needs.


Available Smooth Transition Procedures:

Utilization by LDCs:

The Role of WTO secretariat in identifying needs for technical and financial cooperation:

The WTO Secretariat, at the request made by Angola and Tanzania on behalf of the LDC Group at the Council’s meeting on 8 June 2009, has held two regional workshops on needs assessment, respectively for English-speaking Africa (on 31 May-2 June 2010) and the Asia-Pacific region (on 27-29 July 2010). A similar workshop, for French-speaking Africa is also scheduled for 9-11 November 2010.

At the request of a number of Members, the Secretariat also invited a WTO coordinator of Aid for Trade and a representative of the EIF Secretariat to brief the Council at its 27-28 October 2009 meeting on the potential role of these two initiatives in addressing LDC priority needs in the area of intellectual property.  In preparation for the discussion, the Secretariat had prepared a note on “Least Developed Country Members’ Priority Needs Assessments: the Aid-for-Trade Initiative and the Enhanced Integrated Framework.”

At the request of the LDC Group, this was followed up on 29 October 2009 by a workshop on LDC priority needs that brought together delegates and other officials from LDCs and donor countries, and from the WTO and WIPO Secretariats.

The Secretariat also explored options for closer systematic coordination at the WIPO Conference on Building Partnerships for Mobilizing Resources for IP and Development, held on 5-6 November 2009.

LDCs reported the following reasons for being unable to submit information on their technical cooperation needs:

  • Because of difficulties in assessing its needs (Burkina Faso)
  • The major challenge has been lack of knowledge about intellectual property issues and related issues such as the TRIPS Agreement and other international legal instruments. Once this knowledge is disseminated to a substantial degree, the country should be able to request necessary assistance (Zambia)

Resources:

  1. Special and Differential Treatment Provisions in WTO Agreements and Decisions – Note by the Secretariat
  2. Implementation of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and public health
  3. Paragraph 18 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration
  4. 2001 Doha Ministerial Decision on Implementation-Related Issues and Concerns,
  5. WTO document IP/C/28, 28 February 2003, “Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement”
  6. WTO document IP/C/40, 30 November 2005, “Extension of the Transition Period under Article 66.1 for Least-Developed Country Members”
  7. WTO document IP/C/W/544, 26 October 2009, “Least Developed Country Members’ priority needs assessments: the Aid-for-Trade initiative and the Enhanced Integrated Framework”
  8. WTO document IP/C/W/553, 25 October 2010, “WTO Secretariat Technical Cooperation in the TRIPS Area”