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WTO Panel on China's Intellectual Property Laws

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada will participate as a third party on a World Trade Organization Panel regarding China's protection of intellectual property rights. Canada's objectives in joining the U.S.-led panel are to resolve the issue through the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, and to ensure that China lives up to its WTO obligations.

The WTO Panel, established at the request of the United States on September 25, 2007, will provide a formal venue for the examination of the issues raised by the dispute. Canada remains concerned over China's enforcement of intellectual property rights on a wide range of goods, including copyright-related products such as DVDs, books, art and software.

Counterfeiting and piracy are increasing worldwide, and the government is taking action to address the concerns of Canadian exporters and investors. As a third party, Canada will have the right to be heard by the Panel and to make written submissions. Canada will also receive the first written submissions of the parties to the dispute.

It usually takes up to nine months from the establishment of a panel for its final report to be released to WTO members.

Other WTO members joining this panel as third parties are Japan, Mexico, the European Commission, Chinese Taipei and Argentina.

U.S.-led WTO consultations held June 7th and 8th failed to resolve the issues. Canada participated at those consultations as a third party as well, along with the European Commission, Japan and Mexico.

  • For more information about this case, visit the WTO website.
  • For more information about the dispute settlement process, visit the WTO website.