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IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

Inside Views

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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.

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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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    WIPO Folklore Talks Headed To Assembly; Treaty Negotiation Unlikely In 2013

    Published on 13 July 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Intellectual Property Organization committee addressing protection of traditional cultural expressions (folklore) concluded a weeklong meeting today with progress on a draft text but doubts about moving to a high-level diplomatic conference in 2013, according to participants. The issue now moves to the annual WIPO General Assembly in October, where some said the debate may become more heated.

    It is time now for “intense” negotiations, the meeting chair, Jamaican Amb. Wayne McCook, told the plenary at the end. “The time for comfortable engagement is past, if we’re going to make the next period of our work count.”

    The 22nd Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) met from 9-13 July.

    McCook led the way to adoption at meeting’s end of a set of “Decisions of the Twenty-Second Session of the Committee” [pdf]. There was a discussion at the end of the meeting, particularly from the United States and Canada, about whether the document reflected concerns they had raised during the week. It was agreed to add brackets (meaning it is not agreed) to points in draft text of the instrument to reflect their concerns.

    The 11 decisions, pertaining to the meeting agenda items, were broadly worded statements saying that discussion was held and views were expressed. Perhaps the stickiest agenda item was on future work, where developed countries tried firmly to raise it and some developing countries held their ground, apparently out of fear that it was a side-door attempt to renegotiate the committee mandate.

    The 2011 General Assembly renewed the IGC mandate for the 2012-2013 biennium [pdf]. The mandate calls for the IGC to “expedite its work on text-based negotiations with the objective of reaching agreement on a text(s) of an international legal instrument(s).” This instrument should ensure effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

    The mandate also said IGC 22 should focus on four key articles: Article 1 on the subject matter of protection; Article 2 on beneficiaries; Article 3 on the scope of protection; and Article 5 on exceptions and limitations. During the week, with the help of a facilitator, a revised draft text [pdf] was made reflecting work on these articles (IPW, WIPO, 13 July 2012). Further comments on this week’s draft text made today by member states will be included in the meeting report.

    The committee set out to make progress on a draft text that is supposed to take the shape of an “international legal instrument,” based on the mandate agreed by members at last year’s General Assembly. But long-simmering disagreement over whether this means negotiating a “legally binding” instrument (sought be developing countries) or something softer (developed countries) is coming to a head.

    The mandate also said that the 2012 Assembly will decide on whether to proceed to a diplomatic conference on the issues of traditional cultural expressions, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. Texts have been advanced on all three areas, with genetic resources lagging somewhat. But there is disagreement on whether the diplomatic conference should take place, or at least on what should be negotiated there.

    There also remains no decision on whether there should be three separate instruments for each topic area, or one combined instrument.

    There appears to never have been a diplomatic conference at WIPO on a non-legally binding instrument, and it seems implied to many that it also was intended this time to be binding.

    “When you say dipcon [diplomatic conference], it is a binding instrument you are talking about,” a delegate from the African Group told Intellectual Property Watch. “We are not concerned about the attempt [by developed countries] to renege [on the commitment to a legal instrument] but rather the way they are trying to do it. They’re trying to reopen the mandate” set by the General Assembly.

    But developed countries claim they have always had a different interpretation of “international legal instrument,” and are stridently pushing for something non-binding, like a declaration or a set of recommendations. They also said that the IGC in the past has provided input on future work of the committee to the Assembly, and this should not be different.

    The current IGC mandate is for two years and so normally would not be discussed again until the 2013 General Assembly. There is only one meeting of the IGC currently scheduled for 2013. The upcoming October 2012 General Assembly is intended to take stock of where the IGC got to since last year and give instructions for the second year, perhaps adding a meeting or two to next year’s calendar in order to allow completion of work toward the international instrument(s).

    A developed country source suggested that the non-binding instrument might be like the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) itself, which was raised during the week by indigenous groups demanding more rights in the committee proceedings. But ironically, the ease with which developed countries this week ignored indigenous concerns based on the non-binding UNDRIP may have provided more evidence to developing countries that soft law would not be effective in these matters.

    Indigenous Groups’ Voices in the Wind

    Indigenous groups attending the meeting from around the world continued to try to gain a higher status than ordinary WIPO observers, so that they could vote on proposals and have more say in the proceedings. They were given a greater ability to speak during plenary session of the meeting but were not successful in changing WIPO rules nor obtaining textual language they sought, and issued a strongly worded closing statement today.

    “In spite of our repeated demands, and the recommendations of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, we are greatly disappointed that the IGC has not taken substantive and concrete steps to ensure the full, equal, and direct participation of Indigenous Peoples in WIPO processes that affect us,” it said.

    They said their lack of participation “calls into question the legitimacy of the outcomes of the IGC processes.” They said they reserve all rights to every aspect of their cultural heritage.

    The Indigenous Peoples closing statement is here [pdf].

    In closing, McCook urged members to talk to each other and try to understand each other’s limitations and specific circumstances. “Less rhetoric, more dialogue,” he said. Several delegates told Intellectual Property Watch that they would be open to informal discussions, but that nothing had been formally planned yet.

    WIPO in August will hold a first-time meeting of South-South cooperation on issues including those of the IGC.

    After the meeting, McCook told Intellectual Property Watch that the meeting made progress, and that it is a “dynamic process,” but time is a factor. “Within the time we had, members engaged seriously and constructively,” he said.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Meeting review: WIPO IGC-22 « Traditional Knowledge Bulletin says:

      [...] an update by the WIPO Secretariat … Read the meeting’s decisions … Read the IP Watch article of 13 July … Share this:EmailTwitterPrintFacebookDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

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

      [...] IGC in July left it to the General Assembly to decide whether to call for a diplomatic conference (IPW, WIPO, 13 July 2012). The traditional knowledge talks left off with some disappointment in April (IPW, WIPO, 21 April [...]


    Leave a Reply

    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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