Joint Statement on the WTO/TRIPS Agreement Implementation

  1. All the APEC member economies recognize the important role of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) based on the understanding that the extension of an adequate protection to intellectual property rights contributes to the economic development of the APEC member economies as well as to the promotion of sound trade and investment in the APEC region. Thus, the APEC member economies established as a goal of the Action Agenda adopted at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held in Osaka in November 1995 that the APEC member economies would fully implement the TRIPS Agreement by January 1, 2000 at the latest.
  2. The APEC member economies have formulated the Collective Action Plan within the Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group to promote technical cooperation with the aim of implementing the TRIPS Agreement and to ensure sustainable benefits to the member economies through the dynamic use of intellectual property rights. Each of the APEC member economies has also improved its intellectual property system under the Individual Action Plan.
  3. APEC economies remain firmly committed to the goal of full implementation of the TRIPS Agreement throughout the APEC region in 2000, and look forward to the final stages of ensuring complete adherence to TRIPS standards and provisions by all WTO APEC members.
  4. APEC economies acknowledge the considerable progress that has been made in the APEC region to bring about the development and strengthening of intellectual property administration and enforcement systems in line with TRIPS standards, noting that this has entailed major legislative and infrastructure development in many economies in a relatively short space of time. They reaffirm their commitment to continuing technical cooperation to bring about full and sustained TRIPS implementation in such a way that the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conductive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations. They also reaffirm their commitment to ensure that the necessary skills are developed to enable the realisation of the potential economic and social benefits of intellectual property rights in all APEC economies.
  5. Recognizing the general need for greater public awareness of intellectual property rights, and broader dissemination of practical information on the effective use of the intellectual property system in the APEC region, APEC member economies have resolved to undertake greater cooperation within the APEC region on the planning, development and delivery of public education programs concerning intellectual property.