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4-Patents: TRIPS council discusses plant patenting

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TITLE:  TRIPS council discusses plant patenting
SOURCE: BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, Vol 3, No 15 & 16
        International Centre for Trade & Sustainable Development
        sent by GRAIN BIO-IPR docserver
DATE:   April 26, 1999

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The TRIPs Council met again last week and discussed a number of issues [...].

On the review of Article 27.3(b) - which says that animal and plant inventions do not need to be given patent protection, but that plant varieties have to be given either patent or a "sui generis" form of protection - the discussions seem to be becoming more specific than at previous sessions of the Council, although there is still disagreement about whether the 1999 exercise is a review of implementation or of the provision of Article 27.3(b).

The U.S. and the EU argued that the review that is due to be completed in 1999 is a review of implementation, although they both said that they had open minds about discussing the provision. In support of their point of view the U.S. and the EU point out that in the French version of the text the term "réexamen" is used, which would imply to "re-examine" rather than to "renegotiate".

Meanwhile, the TRIPs Council is continuing its "information-gathering" work. Approximately thirty countries have so far submitted information on their implementation of Article 27.3(b).


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