WTO Works To Make Vast Store Of TRIPS Information Easier To Use03/11/2014 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.The World Trade Organization is taking steps to make the vast store of information shared by WTO members in the Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) easier to use.According to WTO, the secretariat is working on ways to make the information shared in TRIPS Council easier to access and retrieve. The TRIPS Agreement went into effect on 1 January 1995. A key role of the TRIPS Council is to review implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, WTO said in a release.The massive amount of information occurred against a background of “an unprecedented level of law-making and policy-formulation on intellectual property in many countries,” WTO said.The improvements are expected to include making information easier to use or search than “simply from a collection of lengthy documents,” it said. Members will be asked to submit some of their information in the form of tables.An example of information is “notifications,” which are mainly members’ intellectual property laws and any amendments, WTO said. “This has now reached around 4,500 documents totalling 1.8 terabytes of computer space, mainly in the form of texts or scanned images of texts,” it said. There is also information on developed countries’ efforts to boost technology transfer, as obliged under TRIPS.Below are some highlights provided by WTO:TRIPS informationRequirementeach country to notify its laws within 30 days of the TRIPS Agreement entering into force for the countryamendments also to be notified within 30 days of their applicationSo far133 members (out of 160) have notified laws, regulations and intellectual property enforcement mechanismsIncludes some least developed countriesHow up-to-date?dates of members’ latest notifications: 1996–201419 have not notified anything since 199989 have not notified since 2009, when the General Council stressed the need for notifications to be completeOn average5 notifications each so far10 years old — 2005 — average age of latest notification by members2 updates or amendments per member56 have made only one notification with no subsequent updatesFrom the WTO press release:“Information from members is key to the work of the WTO’s committees, including the TRIPS Council. The Secretariat is working on ways to make the vast amount of information that members have shared with each other through the TRIPS Council easier to access and to retrieve, members heard.This is important because one of the TRIPS Council’s key roles is to review how well the TRIPS Agreement is being implemented. The information provided through notifications can also serve to raise awareness about some policy options that are made available to operators on the ground, such as those on intellectual property and health.The envisaged improvement would make the information available in a form that is easier to use or to search than simply from a collection of lengthy documents, the Secretariat said. Among the first steps is to ask members to submit some of their information in the form of tables, for example on technical assistance.The information under “notifications” is principally members’ intellectual property laws and any amendments. This has now reached around 4,500 documents totalling 1.8 terabytes of computer space, mainly in the form of texts or scanned images of texts. Other information includes the technical assistance that members provide and, for developed countries, the incentives they give for technology transfer.This is against a background of an unprecedented level of law-making and policy-formulation on intellectual property in many countries.In this meeting [held 28-29 October, (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 30 October 2014)], new member Tajikistan introduced its laws and the council followed up on a similar exercise for Russia, which joined the WTO in 2012. Montenegro introduced a notification on a major amendment to its trademark law, which it described as being based on EU law and part of the preparation for its EU membership bid. Bahrain, Colombia, Rep. Korea, Russia and Panama updated members on latest developments.Korea described steps it has taken to implement compulsory licensing for the export of medicines to meet the health needs of other countries, giving effect to the WTO’s system of special export licenses set up following the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.Russia outlined a wide range of intellectual property legislation it has recently passed, including to help people with disabilities to use copyright works and to deal with protection of material on the internet.Panama presented a number of updates to its intellectual property system, which encompassed electronic procedures for trademarks and the availability of alternative dispute settlement avenues for disputes over industrial property.The EU also commented that the discussion of technical assistance should move on from the focus on formats to the impact of assistance programmes. For example, the EU has provided assistance on tides and water in Bangladesh and on malaria in pregnancy in Africa and would like to hear feedback, it said. Bangladesh said it would be prepared to participate in a discussion of this kind.”Image Credits: WTOShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"WTO Works To Make Vast Store Of TRIPS Information Easier To Use" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.