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IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

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

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    WIPO Patent Committee Moves Quickly Through Agenda; Heavy Lifting To Come

    Published on 26 February 2013 @ 3:01 am

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    After months of delay, the Standing Committee of the Law of Patents (SCP) opened a meeting on 25 February at the World Intellectual Property Organization and will endeavour to advance negotiations on highly contentious issues including quality of patents, patents and health, and exceptions and limitations to patent rights.

    The 19th session of the SCP was originally scheduled to convene in November 2012, but was pushed back to this week in order to allow for informal discussions on the committee’s future work. The 19th session is scheduled to meet from 25-28 February and meeting documents are available here.

    The last meeting, which met from 21-25 May, left the SCP at a standstill, as members were unable to decide on the committee’s future work. A divide between developed and developing countries was particularly apparent on areas such as patents on health, patent flexibilities, and the quality of patents (IPW, WIPO, 26 May 2012; IPW, WIPO, 25 May 2012).

    Recognising these difficulties, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry briefly addressed members on the opening day. He made a plea for them to “identify areas where there is a need for action” and where they could “come together to make improvements of the international patent system.” Underlining the importance of the committee’s work, he emphasised that the SCP is the only multilateral forum where discussions on substantive patent issues are taking place.

    The 19th SCP agenda includes key patent-related issues such as a report on the international patent system, exceptions and limitations to patent rights, quality of patents, including opposition systems, patents and health, confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors, and transfer of technology.

    The agenda was approved with the addition of the development coordination mechanism, which was proposed by the Development Agenda Group. Group B, which represents developed countries, agreed as long as it did not become a permanent agenda item.

    Members moved through the agenda at a fast clip, having discussed most of the items by day’s end. SCP Chair Vittorio Ragonesi, legal adviser for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, kept interventions short and requested that member states refrain from repeating comments made in previous sessions. Several delegates commented that they needed as much time as possible to negotiate future work in informal discussions later this week.

    A delegate from a developed country said that despite his “disappointment” following the session last May, he was hopeful that members would come to an agreement on future work for fear that, if not, the SCP would be “shelved” during the next General Assemblies. Indeed, the European Union and the United States said during WIPO’s last annual assembly that SCP meetings should not continue if the committee was unable to agree to a new work programme.

    Analysing Exceptions and Limitations Experience

    Despite the fast pace of discussions on day one of the patent meeting, the divide between developed and developing countries seemed just as wide as during previous sessions with members camped on their established positions.

    Brazil submitted a new proposal on how the committee could address exceptions and limitations to patent rights. During the 14th SCP session, the country had suggested work on the topic in three phases, including an exchange of information on how countries use patent flexibilities, an investigation of what expectations or limitations are most effective, and the development of a manual as a guide to countries.

    In the new proposal, Brazil expanded on the second phase, suggesting that the WIPO secretariat “prepare an analysis of Exceptions and Limitations which are most commonly used by Member States” and “a one-day seminar to be held at the next session of the SCP.” The seminar would include a presentation by the secretariat on the analysis, a presentation by the chief economist on the effectiveness of these flexibilities, and presentations from member states on their experiences using exceptions and limitations.

    The US raised concerns that Brazil’s suggestions went “outside the competency” of the WIPO secretariat, which it said should not be offering “generic advice”. Additionally, the country said, “each nation is sovereign to make their own decisions,” which includes implementing “stronger intellectual property rights to attract investment.” The US concluded that it could not support the study suggested in Brazil’s proposal but could support a one-day seminar with case studies.

    Focussing on Inventive Step

    On the agenda item on quality of patents, Spain brought a new proposal to the table on how to improve understanding of the requirement of inventive step. As explained in the proposal, “Most professionals in the world of patents agree that the evaluation of inventive step is the most controversial and arduous of the patentability requirements evaluation process.”

    The country suggests examining different criteria for evaluating inventive step, but it would not “attempt to achieve harmonization” on the topic. Ireland, on behalf of the EU, supported Spain’s proposal, as well as quality patent proposals made in previous SCP sessions by Canada and the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the US (All 25 February EU interventions available here [doc]).

    Another divisive topic, patents and health, was addressed by member states today briefly, but many countries chose to hold their comments until following a presentation on the recently released trilateral study, “Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation: Intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade.” The WIPO, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization secretariats will present the study during the 26 February morning session.

    Following the presentation, member states will revisit patents and health, address the additional agenda item on the development coordination mechanism, before rolling up their sleeves to negotiate future work.

    Rachel Marusak Hermann may be reached at info@ip-watch.org.

     

    Comments

    1. IP Buzz (February 26, 2013) | Geipedia | GEIPER's News Repository says:

      [...] LINK [...]


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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.

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