Key Personnel Changes Coming At EU, Japan, US Delegations In Geneva 03/07/2006 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. Key negotiators on intellectual property rights from the European Commission, Japan, and the United States have announced they will be leaving their Geneva posts this summer. The nations represented by these negotiators account for the vast majority of the world’s intellectual property. After three years as intellectual property attaché at the US Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Jon Santamauro will be leaving Geneva at the end of July, he told Intellectual Property Watch. Santamauro will return to Washington, DC and the Office of International Relations at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), where he will primarily focus on patent issues. In Geneva, Santamauro has played an active role in IP issues related to the WTO, including WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in particular, as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other general IP issues. Commenting on his time in Geneva, Santamauro did not want to single out any highlights but said it has “all been very interesting,” but he is also “excited about going back for new opportunities” in Washington, DC. Santamauro will be replaced by David Morfesi, who is also coming from the USPTO in Washington, DC. The Japanese mission in Geneva also will see a top IP personnel change. Shintaro Takahara has just been replaced by Kenichiro Natsume, who is coming from a post in Tokyo and already has arrived at the mission. Takahara was to leave on 1 July for Tokyo where he will return to the Japanese Patent Office. Takahara has been in Geneva for three years, covering “IP issues in general,” he said, including TRIPS and the WTO and WIPO. He told Intellectual Property Watch that this had been a “busy task” as “many things were happening in parallel.” One of the highlights during his tenure in Geneva, he said, was the TRIPS public health amendment in December 2005. He also highlighted the discussions around the top management changes at WIPO, which have been going on recently (IPW, WIPO, 19 June 2006). Oliver Rowland Benjamin Slocock of the United Kingdom will be leaving his post as counsellor at the European Commission in Geneva at the end of July after four years in charge of intellectual property rights issues, among other things. He also has covered “trade defence instruments,” and it is only for the past couple of years he has done intellectual property, he said. Slocock told Intellectual Property Watch that he will be transferred to European Commission headquarters in Brussels but he does not know yet what post he will take up there. “It has been a great four years,” Slocock said, noting that he and his wife have had a double posting for the Commission in Geneva, as she had been working on services issues at the WTO. In terms of intellectual property rights issues, Slocock has covered negotiations at WIPO and the WTO. He has been working particularly on the issue of geographical indications (GIs), he said. This refers to intellectual property protection of products whose names indicate their origin, and it is one of the key demands of the European Union in the ongoing WTO talks. Slocock also was “quite involved” in the public health amendment of the TRIPS adopted at the end of last year, he said. This public health amendment made it possible for countries to export medicines produced under compulsory license to other countries without adequate production facilities (IPW, Public Health, 6 December 2005). Another IP issue he has focused on is the discussion revolving around the relationship of the TRIPS agreement to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, he said. Several countries have proposed a TRIPS amendment to better protect biological diversity. Slocock will be replaced on 4 September by Sergio Balibrea of Spain, who is coming from a post with the diplomatic office of the Commission in Beijing, China. Balibrea has been head of the trade and economics section of the Commission, responsible for China and Mongolia for the past four years. Before this, Balibrea was the EU services negotiator on WTO matters and on China’s accession to the WTO. Balibrea has been covering intellectual property extensively while in China, not only in terms of enforcement but also legislative developments and standards in the field. He is married and has three children. (Note: all the news on people’s comings and goings is available in the IPW Monthly Reporter, available by subscription only) "Key Personnel Changes Coming At EU, Japan, US Delegations In Geneva" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.