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

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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.

The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    WIPO Assembly: Potential Design Treaty Misses Train To Russia In June, Still On Track For 2014

    Published on 13 December 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    It took World Intellectual Property Organization members long hours in informal consultations over the past two days and far into last night to try solving two outstanding issues in the extraordinary session of the organisation’s General Assembly. Yet another extraordinary session is on the way in May to try to agree on the convening of a diplomatic conference – a high level treaty negotiation – on industrial designs later in 2014.

    The extraordinary session of the WIPO General Assembly took place from 10-12 December. The draft report [pdf] of the session as well as a draft general report [pdf] including the detailed reporting of the session were released late yesterday afternoon, and approved.

    Designing an Industrial Design Treaty

    No agreement could be found on the issue of how to deal with technical assistance and capacity building in the draft industrial design treaty text, and the Assembly could not decide on the convening of a diplomatic conference in June 2014.

    At the heart of the problem was the insistence of the African Group that the provision on technical assistance and capacity building be legally binding, as in an article. This was resisted by the United States, which preferred a milder language such as “legal” or “normative” (IPW, WIPO, 12 December 2013), under the form of a resolution for example, and opposed the “legally binding” terms.

    The matter was pressing since a diplomatic conference was eyed for June 2014, to be hosted by Russia. An African Group member told Intellectual Property Watch that the group wanted technical assistance and capacity building to receive equal treatment comparable to all other provisions of the treaty. Industrial design is typically an issue found more in developed economies.

    A stern-faced Marcello Della Nina from Brazil, who had conducted consultations before the start of the extraordinary session of the General Assembly and during the 3-day meeting, reported to the plenary that “we came extremely close to a consensus” but at the end it was not possible to reach one.

    A draft decision [pdf] was thus submitted to the effect that the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Trademark, Industrial Designs, and Geographical indications (SCT) would continue work on the draft treaty text, and the WIPO General Assembly should take stock of the text and progress made and decide on convening a diplomatic conference.

    All delegations expressed disappointment that no consensus could be reached after hours of discussions and negotiations.

    Both the United States and the African Group defended their positions and said they had shown maximum flexibility, to no avail.

    The Asia and Pacific Group said it was disappointed, but the group’s preference is to have an article in the proposed treaty on technical assistance and capacity building, which would be legally binding. Iran said technical assistance and capacity building is a concern of developing and least-developed countries and expressed gratitude to the African Group for having shouldered a difficult task on behalf of those countries.

    Russia Proposes Extraordinary Assembly in May

    Russia, which had proposed to hold the June 2014 diplomatic conference, tried to save the day by suggesting that an extraordinary General Assembly in May could decide on convening a diplomatic conference, which could be still held in December 2014. Several delegations expressed interest in this suggestion, and with some other delegations requesting textual change on other matters, a new version [pdf] of the draft decision was issued.

    In particular, the new version added the mention of an extraordinary session of the General Assembly in May 2014 to take stock of and consider the text, progress made, and decide on convening a diplomatic conference in 2014 in Moscow.

    Yet another text [pdf] was issued with further details on the May 2014 extraordinary session of the General Assembly, and stating that should the May session of the Assembly decide to convene a diplomatic conference, a preparatory committee would be held immediately after that session of the General Assembly

    Adoption of Resolution on New WIPO Offices

    At long last, delegates late yesterday agreed on a resolution [pdf] on the establishment of new WIPO offices in countries, which clearly did not satisfy member states fully.

    Five new WIPO external offices were proposed by WIPO at the July Program and Budget (PBC) meeting, one in China, one in Russia, two in Africa, and one in the United States. The China and Russia offices – which already had signed contracts with the WIPO secretariat – were agreed upon this week. The fate of the three other offices remained uncertain, although the agreed budget has allocated funds for additional external offices (IPW, WIPO, 10 December 2013).

    German Ambassador Thomas Fitschen, acting as “friend of the chair” and facilitator of the informal consultations which kept delegates away from the plenary room, explained that the obvious differences in opinion on the proposed guiding principles could not be breached in such limited time as the last day of the General Assembly.

    A set of guiding principles [pdf] was put forward by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), Group B developed countries, the Group of Central European and Baltic States, and India at this General Assembly in the hope of reaching consensus on the subject, to no avail.

    Member states all agree that guiding principles for the opening of further WIPO external offices are necessary, said Fitschen, but are divided on the proposed text. Some countries support the text without change, others want to keep the text but want additional provisions, some members cannot agree to the guiding principles as they stand, he detailed.

    The decision [pdf] that has been adopted is to continue open-ended consultations on the proposed guiding principles regarding WIPO external offices, taking into account all proposals and related documents, and all positions and concerns expressed by member states during the PBC and Assemblies meetings. The result of those open-ended consultations will be provided for consideration and recommendation by the PBC and a decision at the General Assembly in September 2014.

    This decision, he said, has been carefully crafted, following consensus gained in consultations but “many delegations have sacrificed a lot” in the process.

    Algeria, on behalf of the African Group, said the group accepted the decision “with a heavy heart.” The delegate said no objection had been voiced to the opening of two new offices in Africa in the next biennium and hoped that all member states engaging in open-ended consultations will do so with this understanding. “We are trusting member states” hoping that no delegation will question the opening of those two new offices in Africa, she said.

    Japan for Group B insisted on the importance of “sound guiding principles” on which any further decision will be taken, and on the necessity of avoiding imposing a burden on the organisation’s financial resources.

    Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of GRULAC, which has been an ardent proponent of the opening of a new external office in Latin America beyond the existing Brazil office, said the group accepted this outcome and was ready to go back to the drawing table.

    China supported the decision and said any political decision should include the opening of two new offices in Africa. Russia said there are two elements to the discussion, one being the preparation of guiding principles and the other one referring to the decisions to be taken on numbers and locations of those external offices. Russia, the delegate said, “will give all due attention” to the question of the opening of two new offices in Africa.

    Global Challenges Division to “Inform” SCP, CDIP

    The proposal [pdf] by the General Assembly Chair Päivi Kairamo of Finland for the Program and Budget for the 2014/2015, which was adopted on 10 December (IPW, WIPO,10 December 2013), included a paragraph on the WIPO Global Challenges Division.

    The Global Challenges Division, which is part of the Department for Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges, “is responsible for addressing innovation and IP at the nexus of interconnected global issues, in particular global health, climate change and food security,” according to WIPO. The three subject areas were chosen in the light of particular challenges met by developing countries in those areas and “because solutions from innovation-driven initiatives are feasible.”

    However, a number of developing countries expressed concerns at the last session of the Program and Budget Committee on 9-23 September, that programme 18, including the Global Challenges Division, was not subject to the oversight of member states in a committee (IPW, WIPO, 12 September 2013). The Development Agenda Group proposed then that the programme 18 report to the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), an idea supported by the Asia and Pacific Group, and the African Group.

    But Group B developed countries showed some reluctance at the prospect, and several developed countries said that the PBC is an adequate committee to discuss programme 18.

    The part of the adopted decision reads : “The Assemblies……noted the comments made by Member States on the request for additional information concerning the IP and Global Challenges program (Program 18) and requested the Program to inform Member States at the 20th session of the SCP [Standing Committee on the Law of Patents] on the patent-related aspects of its activities and to inform Member States at the 13th session of the CDIP [Committee on Development and Intellectual Property] on the development-related aspects of its activities.”

    A developing country source told Intellectual Property Watch that although the decision did not instruct the division to report but to “inform” member states at the CDIP, it was still an important step forward.

     

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

     

    Comments

    1. New SIPO Commissioner Meets With Top WIPO Official From China | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) has a new commissioner, Shen Changyu. And the World Intellectual Property Organization wasted no time in meeting with him. China was approved last month to receive a new WIPO office (IPW, WIPO, 13 December 2013). […]

    2. No WIPO Industrial Design Treaty In 2014; Technical Assistance Still In The Way | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      […] Russia had proposed to host the diplomatic conference to adopt the treaty, which was originally foreseen for June 2014. Given the lack of agreement at the last WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly in December 2013, Russia proposed to host the diplomatic conference in December 2014 and added this item to the extraordinary General Assembly already arranged to confirm the WIPO director general’s election (IPW, WIPO, 13 December 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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