WIPO Delegates Meet On IP And Development Implementation 29/04/2011 by Catherine Saez, 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. Intellectual property has often been considered by developing countries as a hindrance to development rather than a driving force. Next week, delegates to the World Intellectual Property Organization will discuss the implementation of the organisation’s commitment to take development considerations more substantially into its work. In particular, delegates are expected to try to agree on the coordination mechanism of the committee responsible for the effort. The 7th meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is taking place from 2-6 May. The committee oversees and evaluates implementation of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda, which contains 45 recommendations cutting across all WIPO activities. During the last meeting, from 22-26 November, discussions on a coordination mechanism approved by the General Assembly in September 2010, met a dead-end. Delegates could not agree on the implementation of the mechanism. At the heart of the discussions was an elusive agreement on the reporting modalities to the General Assembly, which, according to some developing country sources, developed countries insisted on having before discussing which WIPO committees should discuss the mechanism. The coordination mechanism, under guidelines approved by the 2010 General Assembly, is intended to provide the tool to implement the 45 recommendations across the whole organisation, including all relevant committees. According to sources, some countries have taken the view that the CDIP might not be the appropriate forum to discuss the coordination mechanism, as the CDIP does not have a mandate to make decisions for other committees (IPW, WIPO, 27 November 2010). It is not clear under which form delegates will address the coordination mechanism issue next week, according to sources. The mandate of the CDIP, as established by the WIPO General Assembly, is in particular to develop a work programme to implement the 45 Development Agenda recommendations, and to discuss intellectual property and development-related issues. The committee reports and makes recommendations to the annual General Assembly held in September. The 45 recommendations are grouped into five clusters ranging from technical assistance and capacity-building, norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain, to technology transfer. The 2010 WIPO assembly also mandated that the CDIP come up with terms for a review of the 2007 Development Agenda to be conducted in 2012-2013, and it approved a requirement that WIPO provide a report annually to the UN annual General Assembly on its implementation of the Development Agenda. Projects: Public Domain, Flexibilities, South-South Cooperation Several projects were also discussed and agreed during the November session, with some left to discuss next week. In particular, a project on patents and the public domain, based on recommendations 16 and 20 of the Development Agenda, which are both related to the preservation and support of the public domain. The United States had asked for the project to be discussed this week because they wanted to consult with capital, a source told Intellectual Property Watch. A revised version of the project has been issued for discussions this week by the WIPO secretariat [pdf]. The project addresses three elements: “the important role of a rich and accessible public domain”, “the impact of certain enterprise practices in the field of patents on the public domain”, and “possible norm-setting activities at WIPO on the public domain.” During the last session, Egypt submitted a project on South-South cooperation, which was discussed and received widespread support among developing countries but was not approved as Group B developed countries said they needed to consult their capitals, said a source. The project “on enhancing south-south cooperation on intellectual property and development among developing countries and least developed countries,” is now sponsored and presented [pdf] by the African Group. Among other items to be discussed will be patent-related flexibilities in the multilateral legal framework in relation with Development Agenda 14 on advising developing countries and least developed countries on the implementation, rights and obligations, and use of flexibilities contained in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The WIPO secretariat has prepared a document [pdf], according to the last CDIP’s request, updating a document [pdf] presented in April 2010 at the CDIP 5th session on flexibilities. The new secretariat document introduces five additional flexibilities: “transition periods, the patentability of substances existing in nature, disclosure-related flexibilities, aspects related to substantive examination, and the ex-officio Intellectual Property (IP) Office control of anti-competitive clauses in patent licensing agreements.” A project on “brain drain” [pdf] will also be discussed. This project addresses the problem of the influence of intellectual property rights on outward migration of skilled workers in developing countries. Finally, delegates will continue discussions on intellectual property and the informal economy [pdf] towards a possible project. This project would refer to Development Agenda Recommendation 34, which calls for assistance to member states “in creating substantial national programs, to request WIPO to conduct a study on constraints to intellectual property protection in the informal economy, including the tangible costs and benefits of intellectual property protection in particular in relation to generation of employment.” Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Delegates Meet On IP And Development Implementation" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.