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Archived updates for Monday, December 17, 2007

WTO Talks Tie GI Protection to Genectic Resource and Traditional Knowledge Issues

According to William New writing for Intellectual Property Watch on December 17, 2007, a proposal from the European Union at an informal meeting of World Trade Organization conferees would limit registration of geographical indications to members who are above a certain share in world trade, leave open the decision of which products would be covered by the register, remove an 18-month deadline for any challenges to be filed, and eliminate the requirement for countries to monitor all registrations for opposition:
A group of countries with fewer GIs to protect again opposed the EU proposal despite the changes, sources said. The group of 17 supporting a 2005 “joint proposal” for a voluntary register of wines and spirits GIs entered in a database includes Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

Meanwhile, new support for the EU effort appeared from countries seeking an
amendment to the WTO to require patent applications to include the disclosure of
the origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Those supporting the
linkage of the two issues include Barbados, China, India, Morocco, and Turkey. A
developing country official said countries were pleased with the EU’s removal of
an “onerous administrative burden and costs.”
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