Chair: entrenched positions blocking intellectual property talks
WTO news release, 7 December 2012

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: WTO negotiations to create a multilateral register of geographical indications for wines and spirits are deadlocked over what the talks should cover, the chairperson, Amb. Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria, reported to the Trade Negotiations Committee on 7 December 2012. He said he will try to hold discussions on technical issues in early 2013. This would broaden the factual basis for the negotiations in a way that could allow members to delay the difficult “strategic” decisions about the talks’ content and their links with other subjects. Ambassador Agah reported that the biggest stumbling block in the talks is differences of opinion over the mandate – including whether talks should only be about wines and spirits, as originally mandated, or whether other products could be added. The negotiating standoff also concerns whether these talks should be linked to two other topics, both handled separately in consultations under Director-General Lamy: a proposal to amend the rules so that the current higher level of protection given to geographical indications of wines and spirits are extended to other products (“GI extension”); and a call to amend the TRIPS Agreement so that patent applicants are required to disclose the country of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge used in the inventions. Read the release … Read an IP Watch article on the issue …