WIPO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Twenty-Fourth (14th Ordinary) Session
Geneva, September 20 to 29, 1999
COOPERATION WITH THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
Document prepared by the Secretariat
1. The General Assembly of WIPO expressed in its fifteenth session (4th extraordinary) in 1994, its desire to establish a mutually supportive relationship between the International Bureau of WIPO and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Further, it reached a decision, as stated in the following resolution (document WO/GA/XV/3, paragraph 74.3):
"3. The WIPO General Assembly decides that the International Bureau should be at the disposal of any State that expressly asks for advice on questions of compatibility of its existing or planned national intellectual property legislation not only with treaties administered by WIPO, but also with other international norms and trends, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, and that the International Bureau should prepare studies on the implications of the said Agreement on the treaties administered by WIPO."
2. The above resolution led to, inter alia, the study of Implications of the TRIPS Agreement on Treaties Administered by WIPO, which is published in six languages, and the Agreement Between the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization (hereinafter, "WIPO-WTO Agreement") which came into force on January 1, 1996. The WIPO-WTO Agreement contains three main provisions on facilitation and documentation of notified laws and regulations in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement; communication of emblems of States and international intergovernmental organizations; and enhancement of cooperation between WIPO and WTO on legal-technical assistance and technical cooperation for the benefit of the developing countries with regard to the TRIPS Agreement.
3. Pursuant to the above-mentioned resolution and the WIPO-WTO Agreement, WIPO has provided necessary legal-technical advice and assistance to developing countries in respect of implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. The activities undertaken by WIPO as regards the TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO-WTO Agreement from January 1, 1996, to March 31, 1999, were compiled by the International Bureau and presented to the Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development Related to Intellectual Property in its first session held in Geneva from May 31 to June 4, 1999 (document PCIPD/1/3). That document has been revised and updated to June 30, 1999, and is annexed.
4. With regard to the activities under the WIPO-WTO Agreement, the International Bureau of WIPO has enhanced cooperation with WTO by undertaking joint operations such as joint symposia and workshops, as well as providing experts to the workshops and training courses organized by WTO and inviting experts from WTO to the WIPO symposia and workshops. The two Organizations also continue to participate in the meetings of each other as an observer and coordinate in the areas of notification of laws and regulations and implementation of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention in respect of communication of emblems (see annex, paragraphs 44 to 58).
5. In addition, the International Bureau launched a joint initiative with WTO in July 1998 to assist developing country Members of WTO meet the January 1, 2000, deadline for implementing the TRIPS Agreement. The joint initiative, which was in the form of a joint communication by the Directors General, Dr. Kamil Idris of WIPO and Mr. Renato Ruggiero of WTO, was sent to the Ministers responsible for matters dealt with by the two Organizations in each of the developing countries concerned. As a result of responding to the requests received from these countries, 34 requests received to-date, cooperation between the two Organizations has significantly increased (for details, see annex, paragraphs 59 to 62).
6. The WIPO General Assembly is invited to note and comment on the contents of this document and its Annex.