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    WIPO Members Fret Over Procedure On Development Agenda Proposals

    Published on 22 February 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen and William New

    Member governments of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) meeting established to discuss proposals for a development agenda at the United Nations body spent considerable time today discussing how to manage the large number of proposals.

    The debate in the 20-24 February Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) is focused on how to categorise the more than 50 proposals that have been put forward by a range of countries and regional groups. The development agenda process began in late 2004 with a basic proposal for change of WIPO by Brazil and Argentina, later joined by 13 other Friends of Development. Others have added proposals since then.

    Meeting chair Rigoberto Gauto Vielman of Paraguay, told Intellectual Property Watch that he is conducting consultations with regional groups regarding a list of proposal categories he was planning to prepare. Full proposals would be broken down into individual suggestions and grouped under these subjects.

    The list would cover the main issues in the proposals and the countries behind the respective proposals would themselves decide under which topic they would like to list their proposal. Allowing countries to place their own proposals would avoid concerns that one category might have greater weight than another, according to an official from the Group B of industrialised nations.

    Group B is pushing for broader themes as categories, and has not formally departed from its opening position that any proposals lacking consensus support should be dropped from discussion. This approach is a sticking point with some developing countries, who may fear proposals will be removed without sufficient discussion. The Asian Group and Friends of Development have drafted different approaches to categorising.

    South Korea said in a statement earlier in the week that, “given that there are more than 60 different proposals on the table,” it suggested the secretariat compile a list of all the proposals with a one or two sentence summary of what each proposal is about. This should be grouped by topic area, with similar ideas put together, it said.

    The chair’s categorisation document is expected to become the basis for the discussion of the next development agenda meeting in June, Gauto said, at which he hoped “specific measures” to be recommended to the next WIPO General Assembly would be discussed.

    Gauto noted that the substance of this document would probably not be discussed at this meeting, although he was hoping so. He did not expect, however, that there would be a discussion of the document with the topics at this meeting.

    The chair said he would probably conduct consultations on the document until the June meeting.

    Also Wednesday, the possible negative link between human rights and intellectual property rights was raised by Brazil and Peru. Negotiators also discussed features of the African proposal submitted last year, and a string of non-governmental and industry-related organisations took the floor while private consultations carried on outside the main room for hours. At the end of the day, Brazil walked through the US proposal in a painstaking line-by-line analysis.

    WIPO Mandate on Development

    Regarding a key proposal from the Friends of Development to change WIPO’s mandate toward development, some countries such as the United States say it is not realistic nor necessary to change the WIPO Convention in order to fulfill a development agenda, sources said.

    Sisule Musungu of the intergovernmental South Centre said in an interview that based on an agreement with the United Nations, WIPO already has a mandate to work on development, and now it was generally agreed that changing the convention is not necessary.

    At the outset of the development agenda discussions, WIPO had argued that its mandate was only to promote intellectual property according to its convention, Musungu said, but this had now changed.

    In the original development agenda proposal there were suggestions of separating WIPO’s norm-setting activities and research and impact assessment of these norms, Musungu said. This could be done by changing a few things as WIPO already has an academy, and it could be semi-autonomous, he said.

    The World Trade Organization has, for example, separated these issues through an advisory centre as it is supposed to be objective but at the same time assist developing countries, Musungu said.

    Categories: Development, English, News, WIPO

     


    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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