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    US Congressional Committee Urged To Invite WIPO Staff Involved In Computer Shipments

    Published on 23 July 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The World Intellectual Property Organization has notified the US congressional committee scheduled to hold a briefing tomorrow on WIPO technical assistance shipments of computers and software to North Korea and Iran that the committee should invite staff who have more direct knowledge of those activities.

    The shipments, made by third parties, are being investigated by the United Nations sanctions committees for each country, at UN headquarters in New York, according to sources. It is not clear what penalty WIPO or its staff might face from the UN if found in violation.

    At the United States national level, any activities involving Iran and North Korea are considered highly sensitive. The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has scheduled a 24 July briefing entitled, “WIPO Technology Transfers to Rogue Regimes.” WIPO authorised computers, software, servers and printers to be sent as part of its technical assistance programme. It insists these are readily available technologies and are used only for intellectual property rights development.

    According to a WIPO official, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry approved the request to testify for the person considered the whistleblower in the matter, Moncef Kateb, the WIPO Staff Association president. Kateb has been told by Gurry that he has nothing to fear, the official said.

    Kateb reportedly was concerned about Gurry’s approval being made under staff regulation 1.6 governing outside appearances, and about being reminded that he would be subject to WIPO Staff Regulations and Rules and the Standards of Conduct of the International Civil Service. Gurry responded that the reference to Regulation 1.6 could be removed and that all staff are subject to the rules and standards.

    Meanwhile, Gurry denied the participation of two other staff called on to testify: Deputy Director General James Pooley, and Miranda Brown.

    The official said Pooley and Brown were denied on the basis of their not having had responsibility for the activities being investigated. It was also noted that Pooley has missed most of the latest senior management team meetings. In the case of Brown, it was also related to her having been absent from the organisation for three months. She has apparently moved to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, also in Geneva.

    In communications with the House committee, Gurry said there are others with more first-hand knowledge of the activities. He told Pooley and Brown that these activities fell under the oversight of Yo Takagi (Japan), who handles infrastructure issues, the source said.

    In March, Kateb notified the House committee of these activities, leading to a scathing letter last week to Gurry from the committee last week (IPW, WIPO, 20 July 2012). The Wall Street Journal, a conservative US newspaper, ran a piece from former US representative to the UN John Bolton, indicating that WIPO’s activity indicates that US donations to the UN are misspent. But extremely little of WIPO’s budget comes from the US government or taxpayers.

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

     

    Comments

    1. US Congressional Committee Cancels Briefing, Blames WIPO Director General | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] Gurry denied permission to Deputy Director General James Pooley, an American, and Miranda Brown, on the grounds that neither were directly involved in the technical assistance programme to deliver computers and software. Gurry did approve the whistleblower in the case, Moncef Kateb, and has indicated that he would allow other officials to attend (IPW, WIPO, 23 July 2012). [...]


    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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