Biological Diversity Policy Enthusiast Leaving Indian WTO Mission14/07/2006 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for 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.Atul Kaushik is in his last week of work as first secretary (legal) of the Permanent Mission of India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva this week (week of 10 July).Kaushik, who has played a major role in the proposal from a number of larger developing countries to include new language related to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) into the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement (IPW, Genetic Resources/Biodiversity, 1 June 2006), has been in Geneva for about three years and will be returning to New Delhi.The current round of WTO trade talks started at the 2001 ministerial in Doha, Qatar. Among the intellectual property right issues being discussed in the round is the relationship between the TRIPS agreement and CBD and intellectual property protection of products whose names indicate their geographic origin, called geographical indications (GIs).The discussion centres around a GI register for wines and spirits and extending the higher level of protection that these products receive to other products as well.Kaushik said that his three-year term officially ended in March but that it had been extended for a three-month period, and further extension was not agreed to by the government in New Delhi to keep the foreign assignment cycles on track.On the question as to what Kaushik will remember most from his time in Geneva, he replied:“The challenges I faced in making special and differential treatment (for developing countries) proposals in the Dispute Settlement Understanding negotiations work; the challenge is still continuing! I will also remember that from a small like-minded group who started the CBD-TRIPS debate at the start of the Doha round, I have seen a stage where all the major developing country players like Brazil, China, India and South Africa are on board the text for disclosure.”Kaushik is leaving before the completion of the Doha round and before the CBD proposal has been debated as part of the overall round, but he is still optimistic about its potential.“It is a proposal with some genuine potential economic gains for developing countries,” he said. “It remains intrinsically tied to the geographical indications extension proposal and the general ambition of the round, but I see a result as essential part of the eventual package; ambition in the result matching the ambition on major areas of negotiations,” including agriculture, non-agriculture market access, and services.It is not yet clear who will replace Kaushik, he said.Alka Bhatia, who has been in charge of services at the WTO, also is leaving the Indian mission.At the end of 2005, there was another turnover in the IP team at the Indian mission when M. S. Grover replaced Debabrata Saha as the head of IP rights issues, among others, coming from a position as director general in the ministry of foreign affairs in New Delhi. Moreover, first secretary Manu Mahawar replaced Pankaj Saran and first secretary Nutun Mahawar replaced Preeti Saran (IPW Monthly Reporter, Vol. 2, No. 9).Share 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"Biological Diversity Policy Enthusiast Leaving Indian WTO Mission" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.