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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.

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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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    Final Two WTO Director Candidates Highlight Technology And IP

    Published on 1 May 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The selection process for the next director general of the World Trade Organization is down to two candidates, both from Latin America. Intellectual Property Watch asked them to comment on why they would be the best leader for those interested in technology and intellectual property rights.

    The WTO announced on 26 April that the field had shrunk from five candidates down to two, based on the views of the 158 WTO members.

    The remaining candidates are Herminio Blanco of Mexico and Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil. Blanco is coming from the private sector, and is the former trade minister and trade negotiator for Mexico, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Carvalho de Azevêdo is Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO as well as to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

    The next round of consultations with members will run from 1 to 7 May. The outcome is expected to be announced on 8 May.

    The candidates expected to withdraw were: Mari Elka Pangestu of Indonesia, Tim Groser of New Zealand, and Taeho Bark of South Korea. They joined the four candidates who withdrew after the first round (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 12 April 2013).

    The backgrounds of all candidates can be found on the WTO website here. An analysis of the positions of candidates was provided by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), here.

    “The organization of work for this second round of consultations followed closely that of the first round,” WTO General Council Chair Shahid Bashir of Pakistan said on 26 April. “The Facilitators and I conducted the consultations from 16 to 24 April. Each Member, whether Geneva-based or non-resident, was asked the same precise question, i.e. ‘What are your preferences?’. And as reflected in document JOB/GC/40 from 12 April, we strongly urged and stressed our expectation that each Member provide two preferences – not more, not less – in this round. 158 Members came forward to express their preferences.”

    “As we have done for the first two rounds, the outcome of the round will be given to the Members who nominated candidates who are on the revised slate for round three immediately after the round,” Bashir said. “The following day, it will be reported to all Members at an open-ended meeting of Heads of Delegation, which we intend to hold on Wednesday 8 May.”

    The two facilitators are Amb. Jonathan Fried of Canada (chair of the Dispute Settlement Body), and Amb. Joakim Reiter of Sweden (chair of the Trade Policy Review Body).

    Responses from the Candidates

    Herminio Blanco of Mexico (Photo Credit: WTO)

    Herminio Blanco of Mexico (Photo Credit: WTO)

    In response to a question from Intellectual Property Watch, Minister Blanco said: “I am definitely the best candidate for all technology industries, North and South, since as Minister of Trade and Industry of Mexico, a developing country, I set several agreements on intellectual property rights with developed and developing countries that have spurred FDI flows into and from my country for the last 20 years.”

    “In this field as in all the others areas of the multilateral trading system, I am able to understand the concerns of developed as well as developing countries,” he added.

    Azevêdo had the opportunity to give a more detailed reply. “Technology, intellectual property and related issues are very horizontal, they are present in almost every single thing we do in the WTO in one way or another,” he said. “So to the extent we have a multilateral organisation like the WTO, which is not updating itself through negotiations, and only marginally through jurisprudence, I think those industries, which are very dynamic and very fast-moving, are going to experience a significant disconnect between the world that they operate in and the rules and disciplines that are governed by the multilateral trading system.”

    Asked how he might help with that situation, Azevêdo said, “With the capability of being hands-on immediately – I don’t need training. I have a patient on the surgical table, I don’t have to go to medical school. I’m ready. … That is very important because we don’t have right now a whole lot of time. The WTO hasn’t been negotiating for 20 years, and we’re quickly moving into a situation where the focus is shifting away from the multilateral system towards the bilateral and plurilateral approaches. If we want to regain any kind of relevance, we need to deliver results quickly.”

    Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil (Photo Credit: WTO)

    Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo of Brazil (Photo Credit: WTO)

    Azevêdo gave his broader view on the multilateral trading system, where, he said, “you set the foundations of the rules that will discipline the operations of the business world. But in the multilateral trading system itself it is very difficult to test the edge of the possibilities in terms of discipline-making. The innovative edge, the frontiers of the disciplines, of the rules in trade, are usually tested in the bilateral agreements or plurilateral agreements, which are more manageable to test those new concepts, new disciplines, new approaches. And only subsequently, they are incorporated into and adapted into the foundation, which is the multilateral trading system.”

    “That’s the process,” he said. “The foundation grows up, and on top of that foundation you see these agreements which are more limited, but they test the frontiers of the possibilities. The problem we have now is the foundation is stuck. It’s not going anywhere. It’s not going up. But these agreements still going to test the frontiers, which are every day farther and farther away from the foundation. So at some point in time, I think we need to get those two frontiers closer, the foundation and the others. Otherwise, businesses are going to find it very costly to operate with a multiplicity of standards, a multiplicity of benchmarks that they have to comply with if they want to operate in very specific markets or regions.”

    Asked about Brazil’s track record as fairly open with regards to IP rights and access to knowledge, Azevêdo said he would have to “help members figure out where the intellectual property issues may or may not go and evolve. I think in most countries, the intellectual property issues, not only in developing countries but in developed countries as well, is almost always a result of tensions between the intellectual property or patent holder and society at large, because it’s an exclusivity right … so that innovation continues to happen in a way that benefits society at large. That tension is not always linear, it does not happen progressively always in the same direction or at the same pace. In most countries, these tensions evolve according to political changes, economic changes, social changes, and it’s normal that in countries in general, the progression of the IP system happens in a non-linear way. I think it would not be surprising if the multilateral trading system responded in a similar fashion.”

    Developed countries should support him as well because, he said, “I will have to be as impartial as possible, and I will try to help countries converge from all sides of the table, it doesn’t matter the level of development. But what I think I bring to developing countries is a knowledge of their situation and views and their problems and their perspectives. So they don’t need to waste a whole lot of time explaining to me what their situation is. It helps in that sense, but I am not going to be there acting on behalf or pushing anybody.”

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. Lastest Intellectual Property Rights News | INTERNET SITE LAW says:

      [...] Final Two WTO Director Candidates Highlight Technology And IP Intellectual Property Watch asked them to comment on why they would be the best leader for those interested in technology and intellectual property rights. The WTO announced on 26 April that the field had shrunk from five candidates down to two, based … Read more on Intellectual Property Watch [...]


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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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