India Joins Opposition To Casablanca Patent Meeting Outcome10/04/2005 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 2 CommentsShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.India, a critical player in policy debates at the World Intellectual Property Organisation, has announced its opposition to a recommendation on global patent harmonisation backed by a select group of countries in a February consultation with WIPO Director General Kamil Idris.The recommendation was agreed to by all but one participant in an invite-only consultation Idris held in Casablanca, Morocco in mid-February. Some developing countries not invited to the meeting as well as invitee Brazil have since criticized the Casablanca gathering as reaching beyond WIPO’s mandate by entering into substantive discussions.The recommendations that emerged resembled an earlier proposal by the “trilateral” group of the European Union, Japan and the United States, rejected last year at WIPO. The Casablanca statement recommended six issues be addressed in an accelerated manner within WIPO. The first four issues — prior art, grace period, novelty, and inventive step – would be addressed in the Standing Committee on Patents (SCP). The other two issues — sufficiency of disclosure and genetic resources – would be relegated to the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC).“India does not support the recommendations made by the Casablanca consultations, which would have the effect of separating the issues by placing them on two different tracks,” said a developing country official familiar with India’s letter. The concern is that the issues of disclosure and genetic resources, which are important to developing countries, would be sidelined in a separate committee.Until India’s announcement on 5 April, there had been ambiguity over its position, since the Casablanca consultation was chaired by R.A. Mashelkar, director-general of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research with a reputation as a proponent of intellectual property rights.“On April 5, India clarified to WIPO that there has been no change in India’s long-standing position on subjects addressed at the Casablanca meeting,” a developing country official said of a letter sent to WIPO. India also clarified to WIPO that Dr. Mashelkar participated in his individual capacity.India stated that in the Substantive Law Patent Treaty talks, which are taking place in the SCP, a “wholistic approach be adopted” and that all issues be tackled “within a single negotiating framework.”India also said it is associated with the Friends of Development position on Casablanca, issued shortly after the consultation, which was unsupportive of the outcome. The Friends of Development is a group of fourteen developing countries that co-sponsored a fall 2004 proposal for a WIPO Development Agenda which is under discussion this week in Geneva.India has indicated support for an elaborated proposal on the Development Agenda by the Friends of Development issued last week.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"India Joins Opposition To Casablanca Patent Meeting Outcome" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.