WIPO Delegates Trying To Find Consensus On Technical Assistance And Designs 30/05/2013 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Members of a World Intellectual Property Organization committee working towards a treaty to simplify the international registration of industrial designs are finding it difficult to agree whether the draft treaty text should include articles on technical assistance and capacity building, or whether a resolution should be left to a top-level meeting on the subject. The WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), taking place from 17-31 May, is particularly focussed this week on a draft text of a treaty on industrial designs, which refer to the aesthetic aspect of an item. The committee went through the articles of the draft treaty text during the first half of the week, with delegations making suggestions, mostly in relation to their own current legislation on the registration of industrial designs. On the table at the beginning of the week was a proposal, submitted at the last session of the SCT by the African Group [pdf], for a set of articles to be included in the draft treaty, relating to technical assistance, capacity building and financial assistance. Two more proposals were on the table, one by the European Union [pdf], also submitted at the last session, and a new proposal by South Korea [pdf], which the South Korean delegate said offered a middle ground between the two former proposals. The European Union proposal suggests that a supplementary resolution be adopted to the “Designs Treaty, similar to that agreed for in the Singapore Trademark Law Treaty.” The Singapore Treaty essentially updated the trademark treaty for the digital age but was considered largely technical. Discussions in plenary sessions this week did not allow the committee to agree on the inclusion of articles in the text of the treaty or opt for a resolution taken at the adoption of the treaty. Committee Chair Adil El Maliki, director general of the Moroccan Industrial Property Office, decided to set up a working group to meet informally to try to find a consensus on the issue. The chair issued a non-paper [pdf] yesterday which he said included six different points aggregating elements of the three proposals on the table. Delegates were still in informal discussions this morning and were expected to come back to plenary this afternoon to deliver the results of their consultations. Yesterday, a number of countries supported the African Group proposal and the inclusion in the treaty text of provisions related to technical assistance, capacity building and a reduction of fees for developing countries and least-developed countries, such as El Salvador, the Development Agenda Group, Venezuela, Senegal, Chile, and Nepal. Developed countries were in favour of a resolution by the diplomatic conference on technical assistance, such as Canada, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. The United States said that the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, and the Patent Law Treaty both took the approach of a resolution to address the issue of technical assistance. The delegate said the US was unaware of problems in those two treaties relating to technical assistance and advised to opt for a technical assistance provision in the industrial designs treaty as “a proven approach.” The Central European and Baltic States said that fee reduction does not relate to technical assistance and could establish a discriminatory practice, which would run against the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). So if articles were to be included in the draft treaty text, they should not include fee reduction but have a direct connection with the treaty, the delegate said. This was supported by Norway. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Delegates Trying To Find Consensus On Technical Assistance And Designs" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.