Lamy: IP Gaps “Illuminated,” But Not Narrower 16/03/2010 by 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. World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy has announced to member states that governments’ differences on two key intellectual property issues have been “better illuminated” by an ongoing informal consultation process, though he added, “I would not say that the gaps are narrower.” Lamy has been meeting with a small group of countries over the issues of extending high-level protection on geographical indications (products associated with a particular place and characteristics) currently applicable to wines and spirits to other goods and of possibly altering WTO IP rules to put them in better line with biodiversity protection guidelines in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. These two issues are considered “outstanding implementation issues” of the Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks, meaning that there is no fixed place or mandate for them to be negotiated, though they are to be considered priority issues in the round. Participating countries include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt and then Gabon (speaking for the African Group), the European Union, Japan, Mauritius (speaking for the Africa Caribbean and Pacific Group, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania and then Zambia for the Least Developed Country Group, and the United States. Continuing disagreements are over whether two issues should be linked together with a third issue, the creation of an international register on GIs, as well as substantive issues on whether extension of rights over GIs is useful and issues related to biodiversity such as the meaning of “misappropriation” of biodiversity, how to avoid it, and what legal scope protection against it might take, according to a WTO press release. The WTO has been releasing updates about many of its ongoing negotiations over the past weeks in preparation for a “stock-taking” exercise slated to take place 29-31 March. This exercise is intended to gauge whether or not a long-awaited and seemingly stalled resolution to the Doha Round can be achieved in 2010. "Lamy: IP Gaps “Illuminated,” But Not Narrower" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.