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    WIPO Development Committee Ends On Positive Note With Modest Results

    Published on 18 May 2013 @ 8:30 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    After a week which many World Intellectual Property Organization delegates working on development issues found difficult, a degree of consensus appeared in the last hour late on 17 May. Developing countries’ requests were substantially scaled down as discussions on several areas threatened to be bogged down indefinitely.

    A number of discussions on areas which could not meet consensus during the course of the 11th session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), from 13-17 May, were pushed to the last day to find solutions.

    Hard lines had been taken during the session by opposing groups of countries, and in order to avoid the committee working late into the night, committee Chair Mohamed Siad Doualeh, the ambassador of Djibouti, presented a chair’s summary [pdf] in the morning of the last day to advance progress on the adoption of the report and advance on issues still open.

    In the afternoon, a revised version [pdf] of the summary was published, followed by a number of revised paragraphs [pdf], before a final approved version [pdf] was issued late in the evening.

    WIPO to Look At Sister Organisations for MDGs

    Among the issues left open was the integration of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into WIPO’s work. Delegates this week were asked to review a study [pdf] on the feasibility of the integration of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into WIPO’s biennial results framework.

    The results of the study were unevenly received by delegates, with developed countries satisfied with the conclusions of the study, and developing countries finding that more work should be done on the subject.

    The study, authored by Glenn O’Neil, an evaluation consultant, followed a previous study written by Sisule Musungu, president of IQSensato consultancy, which assessed WIPO’s contribution to the achievement of the MDGs, discussed in two previous sessions of the CDIP (in November 2011 and November 2012).

    According to the two studies, “the most explicit links between WIPO’s activities and the MDGs can be seen in the innovation/technology-related targets of MDGs” (1, 6 and 8).

    The UN MDGs include eight goals, and 21 targets to be met by the deadline of 2015. The studies addressed goals 1 (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases), and 8 (develop a global partnership for development), and six targets: 1C (halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger), 6B (achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it), 6C (have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases), 8B (address the special needs of least developed countries), 8E (in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries), and 8F (in cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications).

    The O’Neil report also said it was “not judged as being necessary to introduce an additional set of MDG indicators to the RBM framework but more so to assess WIPO’s contribution through the reported performance on the Expected Results relevant to the given MDG targets.”

    “The introduction of separate MDG indicators would not be advised for the various reasons set out in this paper,” it said.

    Debate arose as most developing countries found that specific indicators should indeed be developed to measure WIPO’s contribution to the MDGs, while the Group B developed countries were of the opinion that this was unnecessary.

    One of the concerns of developing countries was that the use of the WIPO programme performance reports (PPRs) as a basis of the assessment of WIPO’s contribution to the realisation of the MDGs, as it is a self-assessment.

    The African Group requested that work be undertaken to develop specific indicators, and information to be gathered on how other UN agencies assessed their contribution to MDGs.

    The United States said it would be supportive of the secretariat undertaking an informal assessment of other UN agencies with its own staffing. In particular, the secretariat should look at specialised UN agencies such as the International Telecommunication Union, the World Meteorological Organisation and the World Health Organization, which was supported by Group B and the European Union.

    The Development Agenda Group (DAG) said that information on the practices of other UN agencies would not be enough by itself. A set of specific indicators was to be developed for the work of WIPO, and WIPO will be included into the comparative compilation. Developing countries were also in favour of looking at all MDGs, which was resisted by Group B.

    The chair’s summary shows divergence but notes that the WIPO secretariat is requested to prepare a compilation of the practices used by other UN agencies and “to provide a brief report to the next session of the Committee as to how WIPO has contributed to the MDGs to date.”

    CDIP to Continue Work on Patent Flexibilities

    Another issue was future work of the CDIP on patent-related flexibilities, which member states had to decide upon. The document [pdf] on the table considered four possible patent-related flexibilities included in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    - The scope of the exclusion from patentability of plants (TRIPS Article 27)

    - Flexibilities in respect of the patentability, or exclusion from patentability, of software-related inventions (TRIPS Article 27)

    - Flexibility to apply or not criminal sanctions in patent enforcement (TRIPS Article 61)

    - Measures related to security which might result in a limitation of patent rights (so-called “security exception” in TRIPS Article 73).

    No agreement was reached at the last meeting on future work of the CDIP on those flexibilities (IPW, WIPO, 17 November 2013). Developing countries were insistent that the committee pursue its work on this subject, and include other flexibilities. Some countries mentioned flexibilities related to food security and access to affordable medicines.

    All developing countries that took the floor, such as Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Pakistan, Venezuela, and the Development Agenda Group, supported further work of the CDIP on patent-related flexibilities.

    On the last day, the discussions threatened to lead to the same fate as the last session. Group B said patent-related flexibilities were not a high priority for developed countries, while developing countries, such as the DAG, the African Group, the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), India and China said it was a top priority, and proposed that a list of other flexibilities be provided at the next CDIP.

    Pakistan said the work on flexibilities was part of the WIPO Development Agenda, citing a number of recommendations (14, 17, 22 and 25).

    The committee agreed to undertake further work on the two flexibilities on TRIPS Article 27, which had already been addressed, and asked the secretariat to prepare a factual document on the implementation in national laws of these flexibilities. The committee is expected to continue discussions on further work on flexibilities at its next session, from 18 – 22 November.

    No Progress on New Agenda Item but Door Left Open

    Also left open for the last day was the issue of a new standing agenda item on IP and development which developing countries have been requesting for a number of sessions, and which have been met by a firm refusal by developed countries. The latter have argued that the agenda item is redundant with the name of the committee and is too broad.

    Developing countries say that establishment of this agenda item would fulfil the third pillar of the CDIP’s mandate, which is to “discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.”

    The chair, following a suggestion by Egypt, proposed that informal consultations be carried out before the next meeting to advance discussions, in particular to determine items that could be addressed under this new agenda item, but that Group B said they were not interested in such consultations.

    Finally, it was decided that the committee would continue discussions at the next meeting and the chair encouraged member states to provide more details on the proposal [pdf] to establish this new agenda item by the DAG to facilitate future discussions.

    Assessment of Development Agenda Moves Toward Action

    The decision of the WIPO General Assembly to establish a Coordination Mechanism to mainstream the Development Agenda across all WIPO bodies included a decision for the CDIP to undertake an independent review of the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations at the end of the 2012-2013 biennium.

    On 14 May, the African Group and the DAG submitted a joint proposal [pdf] on the terms of reference of the review. The chair once again proposed to hold informal consultations as the deadline is approaching, which was not supported by Group B. The group instead suggested allocating more time to discuss the review at the next session of the CDIP.

    In the end, the committee decided to devote sufficient time for discussion on the independent review at the next session and agreed to hold one informal meeting prior to the next session.

    The committee also agreed to ask the secretariat to continue work on the improvement of its technical assistance in three areas, which had been decided earlier in the week (IPW, WIPO, 17 May 2013).

    Some projects were also considered by the committee, including a proposal by South Korea on IP and design creation for business development in developing and least developed countries. The committee asked South Korea to further work on its proposal, with the help of the secretariat.

    In its concluding remarks, the African Group underlined that the outcome of the session did not reach the expectations of the group, but remained positive.

     

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. WIPO Committee Opens With Review Of Development Agenda Implementation | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] At the last session of the CDIP, from 13-17 May, the African Group and the Development Agenda Group (DAG) submitted a joint proposal [pdf] on terms and reference and methodology for an independent review of the implementation of the 2007 Development Agenda Recommendations (IPW, WIPO, 18 May 2013). […]

    2. WIPO Development Committee Focusses On Projects; Broader Issues At Bay | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] Meanwhile WIPO delegates have been working on draft terms of reference for the Independent Review of the Implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendations. A first set of terms of reference [pdf] were submitted by the African Group and the Development Agenda Group at the last session of the CDIP from 13-17 May (IPW, WIPO, 18 May 2013). […]


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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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