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5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    No Agreement On Future Work At WIPO Committee On Patents

    Published on 26 May 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A full day and an evening of informal discussions was not enough for the World Intellectual Property Organization member states to reach agreement on the future work of the patent committee yesterday. Developed and developing countries held firm to their positions after reconvening in plenary past midnight, with disappointment as sole common ground.

    Delegates at the 18th session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) held from 21-25 May began the week on a range of issues, but what the committee should be working on was a subject of opposition on most agenda items.

    On Friday afternoon, Chair Vittorio Ragonesi released his summary of the session [pdf] while informal consultations were going on. Delegates came back into plenary after midnight with a text on future work to be inserted in the chair’s summary [pdf], stating that no agreement had been reached.

    Earlier in the week, differences arose on most agenda items and in particular the issue of the quality of patents, patents and health, exceptions and limitations to patent rights, and the transfer of technology (IPW, WIPO, 25 May 2012).

    On technology transfer, the secretariat had prepared a document [pdf] giving practical examples and experiences of patent-related incentives and impediments to transfer of technology. Some developing countries, such as the Development Agenda Group (DAG) said the document merely showed how patents have been useful to technology transfer and did not present cases when patents have been an hindering factor.

    The DAG suggested reworking the documents to include occurrences when technology transfer could not take place due to patent barriers. Egypt, on behalf of the African Group, supported the DAG statement.

    The European Union, and the United States on behalf of Group B developed countries were satisfied with the study and said no new initiative should be taken on the subject of technology transfer in the SCP.

    Countries Intent on Recording Differences

    Developing countries were generally in favour of continuing work in the SCP on patents and health, exceptions and limitations, and the transfer of technology, while developed countries were rather reluctant on those items but supported work on patent quality and the confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors, both issues which do not meet the approval of developing countries.

    As a result, the delegates had the daunting task of finding common ground on future work of the SCP.

    Even at the late hour when the plenary reconvened, populated mainly by country group coordinators, debate over the content of the chair’s summary continued.

    In particular, developing countries noted that the mention of “some countries” in the document did not do reflect the consensus among developing countries on some issues, as the number of countries included in the African Group, the Development Agenda Group, the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries, and the Asian Group represents a large majority of the member countries. Their request was not agreed on.

    In order to meet the approval of those present in the room, several additions had to be made to a number of paragraphs in the summary to reflect opposite positions. For example, on patents and health, the DAG asked that a sentence be added to indicate that some delegations wished WIPO to continue work on that issue without waiting for the results of any other processes. This was in order to balance the mention in the summary that “some delegations, however, stated that the Committee should wait for the completion of the Trilateral Study … conducted by the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization and WIPO before proceeding on this agenda item.”

    On item 11 of the chair’s report, on transfer of technology, Group B proposed to include the following text: “some delegations did not support continued work only on patent-related impediment to transfer of technology, and explained that publication of patents and patent applications are a form of technology transfer and provide an incentive for technology transfer.” The African Group wished to add a mention specifying impediments that the patent system constitutes to technology transfer.

    Late Night Blame Game

    At the close of the meeting, all delegates expressed deep disappointment, each insisting on their efforts at compromising met by obstinate refusals by the other side, in particular in informal consultations.

    The US, on behalf of Group B said, “members of our group tried to provide explanations and clarifications on the issues and proposals sponsored by our members. We tried to understand the interest of other delegations, while maintaining a balanced agenda.” However, there was not a reciprocal effort to reach a balanced outcome of this session, the delegate said.

    Egypt for the African Group said that despite “its incessant efforts at providing compromise language and showing its utmost flexibility on issues that are of great importance and interest to this group, we have met with an intransigence and lack of flexibility from our partners on the other side.”

    This, she said, is “a worrying and alarming signal that there are attempts or a tendency to sabotage the work programme of this committee instead to push it forward with practical steps.”

    Algeria on behalf of the DAG said the SCP “should build on both public and private interests.”

    “We are government representatives, and this is a governmental organisation, so the DAG is very concerned” that some delegations do not take into account the public interest, she said, adding the DAG was “deeply concerned by the bad spirit shown.”

    However, she said, the DAG is ready to discuss any other proposal that could be put forward by other members. This remains to be seen.

    The next session of the SCP will be held from 26-30 November.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO General Assemblies Face Big Questions, Small Details | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] differences continue to plague the committee, which in May could not agree on a future work plan (IPW, WIPO, 26 May 2012). The SCP is potentially addressing a number of issues such as patent quality, patents and health, [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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