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    WIPO Development Meeting Starts Slowly Despite Push For Strong Reform

    Published on 20 February 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen and William New

    A meeting on a development agenda at the World Intellectual Property Organization got off to a slow start after a half-day debate over who would chair the meeting. This took place in contrast to efforts of key developing nations to keep negotiations on track to significant reforms of the United Nations body.

    After a failed effort by the Group B industrialised countries to install a new chairman from Romania, Paraguayan Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman was selected to continue in his position as chairman, which he held for last year’s intersessional intergovernmental meeting on a development agenda. Kyrgyzstan was chosen as vice-chair for this week’s new Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA). Group B withdrew the suggestion after several hours of negotiation, according to officials.

    Some sources argued that it is natural for Paraguay to continue to chair the process, while Group B members sought to signal that the PCDA – established by the General Assembly in October – is a new and separate process. Developed countries questioned privately did not criticize Vielman’s performance last year.

    Romania is a candidate to join the European Union. Paraguay may be seen by some as more favourable to developing country issues although it is not part of the Friends of Development Group promoting the WIPO development agenda, some sources said.

    Following resolution of the chairmanship, regional groups made official statements and then moved into discussion of new and old proposals.

    FOD Document Stakes Out a Way Forward

    Fourteen members of the Friends of Development group put forward a document for the meeting summarising the key points in the proposals on the development agenda so far and indicating where the process should go from here.

    The proposal highlights the mandate given to the provisional committee and says that 2006 is the year for deepened discussions and concrete recommendations on the development agenda. In 2005, the first year of discussion on the proposal for such an agenda put forward by Brazil and Argentina in 2004, debate often focused on procedural issues.

    The new Friends of Development document also emphasized that despite the number and variety of proposals submitted to WIPO on the development agenda, there are some common threads. It welcomed WIPO’s progress in including public interest groups in the discussions; the general agreement among members that WIPO should indeed be active in development; and that public hearings should be held before rule-setting activities are undertaken.

    The document summarises the key issues to be addressed that are found in most or all of the proposals put forward prior to this week’s meeting. First, what should be the new approaches to WIPO norm-setting activities to ensure: they reflect the priorities of all WIPO members; that the impact and cost for developing countries is analysed; that they reflect the “profound factual economic and social differences” between member states; and that once adopted, they are evaluated.

    Second, consider “member-driven mechanisms, procedures or rules” that could help WIPO carry out independent evaluation of intellectual property rules’ impact on development.

    Third, strengthen the area of technical assistance including “improved availability and sharing of information on theses activities.”

    Fourth, consider what measures are needed to help WIPO fulfil its mandate to facilitate technology transfer.

    Fifth, to consider the issue of access to knowledge and ensuring that a “robust” public domain is being kept through norm-setting activities, including a proposed Treaty on Access to Knowledge.

    Sixth, WIPO should provide developing countries with “policy space” to promote their development needs and requirements.

    The document also highlights the need for all proposals to be given equal treatment and consideration and sets a deadline of 30 June 2006 for the provisional committee to arrive at concrete results. The PCDA is scheduled to meet for two week-long sessions in 2006 before making recommendations to the autumn 2006 General Assembly.

     

    Comments

    1. Charanjit Sehgal says:

      When a PCT application enters in the national phase then againt the examination process starts from zero in individual patent office. It is very time consuming and replication of efforts for the same activity. Why not the ISR in detail or the examination report of the first priority is shared with all the country members. This will assist in speedy prosecution at national levels.

    2. Charanjit Sehgal says:

      WIPO should take a lead in collaboration with the inventor and the member country authorities to ensure the responsibility of IPR towards the poor section of the society who can’t agfford the high priced drugs which are protected by patent


    Leave a Reply

    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.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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