Negotiators Agree To Add Access To Knowledge To WIPO Mandate 14/06/2007 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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)By Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen World Intellectual Property Organization members negotiating development-related proposals for WIPO’s future mandate reached preliminary agreement on several more key issues Thursday, including access to knowledge and exceptions and limitations. Agreement came after lengthy talks on what officials described as the most difficult area of the negotiations, which are expected to end on Friday. There were still four clusters of proposals left to be addressed with two days remaining in the 11-15 June meeting of the Provisional Committee on Proposals for a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA). A first set of proposals were agreed earlier in the week (IPW, WIPO, 14 June 2007). A new draft emerging on 14 June showed that compromises had been reached on more points that had previously seemed intractable, leading some sources to commend the positive spirit at the meeting. Discussions in the small sequestered negotiating group with reportedly hard-driving PCDA Chair Trevor Clarke, the Barbados ambassador, continued in an attempt to conclude all the clusters by the end of the meeting and send recommendations to the September General Assembly. One of the main disagreements from 13 June in the cluster entitled “Norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain” was a paragraph related to access to knowledge, which Group B of developed countries first opposed. It now reads: “To initiate discussions on how, within WIPO’s mandate, to further facilitate access to knowledge and technology for developing countries and LDCs [least developed countries] to foster creativity and innovation and to strengthen such existing activities within WIPO.” One developing country official told Intellectual Property Watch that the Group B developed countries had added the “within WIPO’s mandate” and the word “further” had also been added to reach agreement. The original proposal from 13 June said, “to discuss possible new initiatives and strengthen existing mechanism within WIPO.” Agreement was also reached on the public domain issue, which now starts with: “To promote norm-setting activities related to IP that support a robust public domain in WIPO’s member states.” Other issues in this cluster are a requirement to hold consultations with non-governmental organisations, and that “norm-setting activities should be supportive of the development goals agreed within the UN system.” It also was agreed that WIPO should address issues such as “safeguarding national implementation of intellectual property rules”, “potential flexibilities, exceptions and limitations for member states”, “IP-related transfer of technology”, and possibly add special provisions for smaller economies, all in its working documents for norm-setting activities. And finally, on licensing it was agreed: “To consider how to better promote pro-competitive IP licensing practices, particularly with a view to fostering creativity, innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology to interested countries, in particular developing countries and LDCs.” Four issues that were added to this cluster at the meeting are no longer in this cluster, with one on flexibilities related to international trade law having been withdrawn, one official said. A proposal on exchanging experiences on open collaborative projects for the development of public goods such as the Human Genome Project and open source software was moved to another cluster, together with a proposal related to counterfeiting and piracy and one on best practices for economic growth, sources said. At presstime, these issues were being heatedly debated, according to sources. Tove Gerhardsen may be reached at email@example.com. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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 "Negotiators Agree To Add Access To Knowledge To WIPO Mandate" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.