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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    WIPO Negotiators Seek Final Agreement On Key Issues At General Assembly

    Published on 1 October 2005 @ 5:05 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Government negotiators at the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organisation General Assemblies continued their work into the weekend to try to reach agreement on key outstanding issues.

    All discussions of these issues have reverted to closed, informal meetings, in contrast to the weeklong formal meetings open to accredited non-governmental observers. Since the assemblies began on 26 September, most agenda items have been agreed. The assemblies end on 5 October.

    The remaining unresolved issues are the extension of a high-level meeting on a development agenda for WIPO, the scheduling of a diplomatic conference for negotiating a broadcasters’ rights treaty, and whether to continue a committee discussing global patent harmonisation. The broadcasting treaty did not advance on Saturday, according to sources.

    A fourth issue agreed upon on Saturday was a call for action on recommendations by the U.N. Joint Inspection Unit which found fault with WIPO’s financial and management practices.

    Perhaps the most contentious issue is the development agenda proposed at the 2004 General Assembly by the 14-member Friends of Development group led by Brazil and Argentina. That assembly created an Intersessional Intergovernmental Meeting to address the issue during 2005. Debate over the 56 proposals put forward over the past year in relation to the development agenda has been reduced in this General Assembly to which forum to keep discussing development in 2006.

    As of Friday, the United States appeared nearly isolated in its continued insistence on putting development issues into a beefed up Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development Related to Intellectual Property (PCIPD). The vast majority of other countries showed support for the continuation of the IIM, many voicing concerns that the PCIPD lacks the potency of an IIM.

    EU Switches Sides Again In Call For New Development Committee

    But overnight, the European Union, which supported the IIM extension in July but has insisted that it is flexible on which forum is pursued, came out in support of a reformed PCIPD. The industrialized countries, referred to as Group B, put forward a new proposal Saturday that would replace the PCIPD, which would cease to exist.

    The proposal resembles a United Kingdom proposal from earlier in the year and according to sources gained the support of Mexico and possible consideration of some other developing countries. One official remarked with criticism that the U.K. proposal ended up getting special consideration when it was only one of 56 proposals on the development agenda.

    Under the Group B proposal, the committee would meet in two one-week sessions. The current PCIPD meets only once every two years. The Group B proposal also contains language aimed at appeasing concerns that all development issues would be relegated there for indeterminate periods of fruitless discussion.

    It said the IIM process would be continued in the new committee “to accelerate and complete the discussions on proposals” and report any recommendations to the 2006 General Assembly.

    It also said the committee mandate would be all issues related to IP and development, “without prejudice to the work in other WIPO bodies.” This was intended to affirm that development issues could be brought up by anyone anywhere in WIPO. But some developing countries lost faith when China raised a proposal on patent harmonisation Friday to include genetic resources with four patent issues sought by the developed countries and was told that the issue should be dealt with in a separate committee on that issue whose mandate was renewed earlier in the week. According to sources, an effort was made Saturday to reduce concern about that occurrence.

    On Saturday, India also put forward a new development agenda proposal, which would create a task force on intellectual property and development. The chair earlier in the week drafted a proposal that the IIM be continued for three more sessions, which has been the Friends of Development position.

    At the close of negotiations Saturday, no agreement had been reached. Negotiators were expected to take Sunday off and return on Monday. Work must be completed on Monday in order for translations to be made Tuesday and final adoption of the report to take place on Wednesday, the scheduled end of the meeting.

    New Chair’s Proposal On Patents

    The General Assembly was asked to decide on the future work program of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, which stalemated in discussions on a Substantive Patent Law Treaty sought by the European Union, Japan and the United States.

    The chair’s proposal built on a Group B proposal to hold an informal, five-day open forum in the first quarter of 2006, which was greeted with reservation by some developing countries who are still stinging from a process they felt was unfair in 2005. The chair added a two-day open-ended working group to determine a “prioritized work program of the topics based on the discussions of the open forum.”

    The chair appeared to further sweeten the pot by specifying that three days of the initial open forum would be devoted to discussions about issues of interest to developing countries such as public health, public interest flexibilities, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, competition and exceptions and limitations. The other two days would be spent on the preferred topics of the trilateral countries – prior art, grace period, novelty, and inventive step. The issue was left unresolved at the end of the day, with changes expected to the draft proposals.

    Delegates leaving the negotiations said they were generally positive about progress overall.

    Categories: English, WIPO

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

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