Negotiators Begin To Find Common Ground In WIPO IP Development Talks30/04/2010 by Kaitlin Mara, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are 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.A coordination mechanism and a project on transfer of technology will dominate much of the last day of the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property, but with two new projects approved the group has already made progress this week, according to sources.The CDIP at the World Intellectual Property Organization is meeting 26-30 April.The newly approved projects are on IP and socioeconomic development, and on product branding for business development in developing and least developed countries.The economic project gives approximately CHF1.4 million (about $1.3 million USD) towards a series of economic studies on the relationship of IP to economic performance, particularly in the areas of “domestic innovation, the international and national diffusion of knowledge” and economic implications, according to the project document [pdf]. It is intended to bring a better understanding of how IP actually works in developing countries. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry has introduced a greater emphasis on economic analysis of IP since taking office last year.The second approved project [pdf] is intended to help small businesses in developing countries use IP – such as industrial design, trademarks, or geographical indications – to brand and promote their products.A third project, on capacity-building in the use of appropriate technology-specific technical and scientific information to aid development, is close to agreement, but suggestions by the European Union must be first reviewed today, sources said.Tech Transfer, Coordination Still AheadStill a sticking point is a project on IP and technology transfer, which was not approved in November because a group of like-minded developing countries were concerned that parts of it were vague or insufficiently defined (IPW, WIPO, 19 November 2009).The technology transfer project received a number of comments from both the group of like-minded developing countries, and several developed countries especially Australia, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the United States. The secretariat summarised the proposals made into areas where there is substantial common ground, areas where “a common solution may be developed,” and areas where there is divergence. This document is available here [pdf].Discussions on the project started Wednesday but have yet to make significant progress, sources told Intellectual Property Watch. Areas of divergence in the secretariat document include items such as adoption of commitments under international trade rules that developed countries must demonstrate technology transfer assistance to developing countries, and creation of a special fee for technology transfer under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.Coordination MechanismAnd a proposal for a coordination mechanism for the CDIP has made progress towards consensus, but participants from all sides of the issue told Intellectual Property Watch that many of the most difficult areas of remaining disagreement had yet to be addressed. As of press time, the committee was still in informal negotiations to try and come to consensus on some of these areas, in particular whether people outside the CDIP should be invited to participate in discussions on its implementation and the implementation process should be reviewed.The coordination committee is considered a critical part of the Development Agenda by many countries, as it will be responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of activities undertaken in the name of the Development Agenda and its form will influence how development principles are mainstreamed throughout WIPO.In November, competing proposals on what the coordination mechanism might look like were submitted. One came from Algeria, Brazil, and Pakistan – later officially co-sponsored by India and supported by a number of developing countries, this is now called the “joint proposal.” The other came from the “Group B” of developed countries.Towards the end of the meeting, an informal paper that combined the two proposals was drawn up (and is available here [pdf]).Working from this document this week, countries have in informal negotiations begun to find areas that are in principle agreed, sources told Intellectual Property Watch.Agreed areas include: an instruction to the relevant WIPO bodies to report to the decision-making WIPO General Assemblies their contribution to Development Agenda principles (reports that will then be sent to the CDIP for discussion); an instruction that relevant WIPO bodies identify ways development principles are being mainstreamed; an “urge” to the director general to help with coordination and assessment and reporting on related secretariat activities; and to include a report on the Development Agenda implementation in WIPO’s annual report to the UN.Also in principle agreed is that discussing continuing implementation will be the first substantive agenda item at the CDIP, but there is still some disagreement regarding time allocation.Several sources told Intellectual Property Watch that the informal meetings were currently stuck on whether the committee should invite chairs and presidents of other WIPO bodies and other people to participate in implementation discussions. The suggestion came from the joint proposal group, but some are concerned that it is outside the mandate of chairs.Also a point of disagreement is independent expert reviews on Development Agenda implementation. The Group B proposal had suggested “an independent review” with the terms of reference and timing to be decided later; the joint proposal had suggested regular biennial reviews, beginning in 2011.Remaining areas to be addressed include a set of coordination mechanism principles proposed by Group B – including that the coordination should not create additional costs and that all WIPO committees should be on equal footing – and a proposal from the joint proposal group that all WIPO bodies be instructed to ensure that everything produced by WIPO or consultants to WIPO are in line with the principles on norm-setting activities, flexibilities, public policy and the public domain.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)RelatedKaitlin Mara may be reached at email@example.com."Negotiators Begin To Find Common Ground In WIPO IP Development Talks" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.