SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Subscribing entitles a reader to complete stories on all topics released as they happen, special features, confidential documents and access to the complete, searchable story archive online back to 2004.
IP-Watch Summer Interns

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

Inside Views

Submit ideas to info [at] ip-watch [dot] ch!

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.

Latest Comments
  • So simply put, we have the NABP saying that all ph... »
  • The original Brustle decision was widely criticise... »

  • For IPW Subscribers

    A directory of IP delegates in Geneva. Read more>

    A guide to Geneva-based public health and intellectual property organisations. Read More >


    Monthly Reporter

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter, published from 2004 to January 2011, is a 16-page monthly selection of the most important, updated stories and features, plus the People and News Briefs columns.

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter is available in an online archive on the IP-Watch website, available for IP-Watch Subscribers.

    Access the Monthly Reporter Archive >

    In Geneva, IP And The Catholic Church Are A Match Made In Heaven

    Published on 17 October 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    With his distinctive clerical garb, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi stood out in a sea of coat and tie-wearing dignitaries at the recent General Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. His presence is a glaring reminder to every stakeholder in the room that intellectual property, often associated with excessive and self-serving patent wars these days, has a place in the Catholic Church.

    In an interview with Intellectual Property Watch at the sidelines of the assembly, Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the church finds “human value” in intellectual property and, as it protects and promotes innovation and creativity, is good for humanity.

    “The goal of IP is to protect innovation and to find a way to support the people who are more creative. There is a human value in this. Everything that is important to the human family is a concern of people of religion, especially to the Vatican because the perspective with which we look at things is not so much in the immediate interest of religion as such, but what is good for the human family, for everybody,” he said.

    Still, Tomasi asserts that the church believes intellectual property should have limitations, that in enforcing it there should be a balance between addressing the two necessities of monetizing creativity and creating social good.

    “Private property is good, but it also has to be made available and functional for the rest of the human family. Knowledge, in a similar way, is a good thing for the individual so that the individual has the right to have some income out of his personal effort or talent. But at the same time, we need to keep the horizon wide so that everybody can benefit [from IP],” he said.

    The Holy See, which is commonly referred to as the Vatican City, is the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome and is headed by the Pope. It is home to a rich collection of copyrighted works, to include the voice and the writings of the Pope and religious books.

    Among its creative institutions, the tiny city state has a film library, a publishing house and a radio station which together carve a wide and influential reach abroad, particularly in countries where the Roman Catholic faith is the dominant religion.

    “In this tiny state, there are needs also of protecting the coat of arms of the Vatican, some radio programmes, the speeches of the Pope, the text or books that are officially published by the Holy See. And for all these activities, the law of copyright applies,” Tomasi said.

    Particularly, according to its amended laws on copyright and neighbouring rights [text in Italian], the Holy See has the exclusive right to the image and the voice of the Pope used in works that are not religious, cultural and educational (Article 3). A 2011 amendment was made to protect the “honor, reputation, respect and prestige” of the Pope amid the onslaught of commercial merchandise bearing the Pope’s image.

    Tomasi described the collection of copyrighted works of the Vatican as immense, but could not give figures on the estimated worth of the holdings of the church nor of their contribution to the income of the Vatican. The bulk of the yearly income of the Vatican comes from donations from around the world, collectively called the Peter’s Pence.

    According to the official website of the Vatican City State, the Vatican Publishing House prints the acts and documents of the Pope and the Holy See, and is tasked to oversee the commercial distribution of the works. The Vatican Film Library contains “around 7,000 catalogued titles.”

    The Vatican Radio, meanwhile, which has a status of an “independent administration” since 1995, “broadcasts to all five continents in 39 languages for approximately 438 hours a week — the combined duration of retransmitting the programs of the Vatican Radio by partner radio stations around the world. According to its website, the Vatican Radio has “concluded agreements for the broadcast of its programs with national public radios and some commercial radios,” but most of the broadcasters retransmitting the programs are Catholic or Christian radio stations.

    More than the commercial interests in the collection of works, Tomasi noted that for the Catholic Church, IP protection is necessary to preserve the integrity of the message of the Church.

    “What is produced in the Vatican becomes available to everybody, so there is the concern to protect the integrity of the message. We don’t want people to interfere with the words of the Pope or change the content of the book that deals with theology,” he said.

    The Legal Office of the Governorate of the Vatican City is the agency tasked with overseeing the protection of the intellectual property rights of the Catholic Church. Similar to IP offices in other jurisdictions, its activities include registration of creative works, licensing and enforcement of IP rights.

    Aside from the exclusive rights, mostly economic rights, that are provided by copyright, it also grants moral rights to authors, a right being observed in Europe.

    Article 6bis(1) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works guarantees that “the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.”

    At WIPO, Tomasi said the role of the Church is to “remind the member states that there are certain necessities in the human family that need attention,” in which IP can be used to address these needs.

    Particularly, the Catholic Church has taken a strong position on the fast-tracking of a treaty to benefit the visually-impaired and those with print disabilities. “We would like to give them a chance to be more educated, to use these resources [copyrighted works] so that the spiritual and the intellectual growth of these people continue,” Tomasi said.

    He elaborated this position of the Church in his intervention made before the 1-9 October WIPO Assembly. The link to a copy of his statement is here.

    The Catholic Church, he said, is also pushing for WIPO to prioritise ensuring access to medicine, especially antiretroviral drugs, for poor people, especially those in developing countries.

    “We don’t say that everything should be given for free, but the level of economic development of a country should be taken to account, so that an average person may not invest everything that he has – money that is necessary for food and for living – to buy medicine,” he added.

    The Holy See has been a WIPO member since 1967 and is a World Trade Organization observer. It is a signatory to a number of treaties, to include the Berne Convention, the WIPO Convention and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

    Maricel Estavillo may be reached at maricelestavillo@gmail.com.

     


    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.

     

     
    Your IP address is 54.196.189.229