Positive Note For WIPO Committee On IP And Development, Some Issues Remain 28/04/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments 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)At the close of the session of the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) last week, delegates left on a positive note. Despite not achieving concrete results on several issues, the meeting was described as encouraging by some participants. Technical assistance remained one of the prickly issues, as well as the mechanism for WIPO committees to report on their implementation of the Development Agenda. The fifteenth session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), took place from 20-24 April. One of the achievements of the week, according to a number of member states, was the adoption of a new project on IP and tourism, aimed at promoting awareness of the role of IP in tourism-related economic activity. A final version [pdf] of the chair’s summary of the meeting was issued on 27 April. A draft summary by the chair [pdf], Argentina Ambassador Alberto D’Alotto, had been adopted on 24 April after a number of amendments were made. External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance The 2011 External Review [pdf] of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development was issued by two independent experts and contained a number of recommendations to improve WIPO technical assistance. WIPO provided a Management Response [pdf] to the External Review in 2012 with details of steps already taken by the organisation to answer some of the issues underlined in the External Review. Since the delivery of the External Review, delegates have been discussing – with little agreement – those recommendations, to which extent they were already being implemented by WIPO and which ones should be further implemented. On 23 April, Spain proposed an informal list [pdf] of six possible actions on technical assistance to try to move the discussion forward. For example, the list asks that the secretariat prepare a compilation of best practices of WIPO technical assistance; that it identify measures to increase the efficiency of WIPO’s technical assistance; and that it prepare a guideline for the selection of consultants for technical assistance. This proposal was supported by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries (GRULAC), as well as a number of individual Latin American countries, and the African Group. Group B developed countries proposed instead that the management response be updated. Spain and some other countries said both proposals were not incompatible. At the end, the committee amended paragraph 12 of the chair’s summary to add that the secretariat was requested to update the management response and continue its discussion on the External Review. The CDIP “decided to continue discussion on the above mentioned subject on the basis of the points contained in the proposal made by the Delegation of Spain, any other proposals made by Member States, and the Management Response,” said the summary. Expert Forum on Tech Transfer Not Inclusive, Some Say Also amended was paragraph 9 of the chair’s summary, on the WIPO report of its Expert Forum on International Technology Transfer. The last sentence now says that the committee decided to continue discussing the matter at its next session based on the report and any other ideas states wish to put forward. The report [pdf] on the WIPO Expert Forum on International Technology Transfer was presented during the session last week. The forum was one of the deliverables of the CDIP “Project on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer: ‘Common Challenges – Building Solutions’,” and took place on 16-18 February (IPW, WIPO, 5 March 2015). The report includes a number of “Expert Thoughts” expressed by the panellists of the Expert Forum to be considered and approved by the CDIP with a view to incorporating work towards implementing those thoughts into WIPO work programmes. The Expert Thoughts include: developing training materials that are case study-based to enable more effective technology transfer; and designing a technology transfer platform that would provide information on available technologies and those which are needed, which then could evolve into a technology transfer matchmaking platform. In addition, it includes raising awareness on the importance of an IP framework, including the accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, and the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Some delegations found that the Expert Thoughts did not accurately reflect the results of six peer-reviewed analytic studies previously carried out in the course of the project. That was the opinion of the African Group, which also regretted that no financial support for the participation of capital-based experts from developing countries was available for the forum. Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, requested that the CDIP consider recommendations contained in the studies and the forum, which are not reflected in the report. These included: assistance with the development of national technology transfer offices; the possibility of an international treaty on access to basic science and technology; and the development of publicly funded financial mechanisms to promote innovation, transfer of technology, and support SMEs. It also included the role of patent information disclosure and accessibility of information in supporting technology transfer. Brazil also said that some ideas considered as important to “any discussion on transfer of technology” were not mentioned by experts at the forum, such as “the current proposal by the LDCs [Least Developed Countries] to create a template for the developed countries’ report as a possible improvement in the way WTO [World Trade Organization] members implement TRIPS [Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] Article 66.2 [Least-Developed Country Members].” Also absent from the discussions at the forum was the role of the flexibilities in multilateral IP agreements as an instrument in the transfer of technology promotion, the delegate said. The EU said the expert forum was not well attended by delegates. They also said they “are very hesitant to some of the ‘Expert Thoughts’, as they involve the creation of new structures by WIPO engaging in technology transfer.” They suggested that current WIPO structures could be used to take matters forward. The delegate from Latvia, speaking on behalf of the EU, said, “It is important to recognise the role that industry plays in technology transfer activities, and the lessons that can be learnt on best practice, to encourage effective technology transfer initiatives.” The final version of the summary by the chair specifies that the matter will be further discussed based on the report and “any other ideas that states wish to put forward.” Patent-Related Flexibilities The CDIP last week also discussed a document on Patent-Related Flexibilities in the Multilateral Legal Framework and their Legislative Implementation at the National and Regional Levels. Patent-related flexibilities are considered as key by developing countries as they allow them to preserve some policy space to adapt the IP rules to their level of development. Some delegations suggested that the CDIP explore other flexibilities than patent-related. This included Nigeria for the African Group, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay. The secretariat was requested to update the database on flexibilities and report back on it at the next session of the CDIP. Projects Noted, Approved The implementation of the Project on Strengthening and Development of the Audiovisual Sector in Burkina Faso and Certain African Countries, which was approved by the ninth session of the CDIP was extended until the end of December 2015. The CDIP took note of the Evaluation Report for the Project on Open Collaborative Projects and IP-Based Models, and the Evaluation Report for the Project on Strengthening the Capacity of National IP Governmental and Stakeholder Institutions to Manage, Monitor and Promote Creative Industries, and to Enhance the Performance and Network of Copyright Collective Management Organizations. The CDIP decided that the secretariat will “take appropriate actions on the recommendations” contained in the reports, taking into account comments and reservations made by member states, according to the summary by the chair. Separately, the CDIP also approved the project proposal made by Egypt in 2014 called, Intellectual Property, Tourism and Culture: Supporting Development Objectives and Promoting Cultural Heritage in Egypt and Other Developing Countries (IPW, WIPO, 23 April 2015). Separately, the tourism project [pdf], proposed by Egypt in 2014, “Intellectual Property, Tourism And Culture: Supporting Development Objectives And Promoting Cultural Heritage In Egypt And Other Developing Countries” (IPW, WIPO, 23 April 2015). Future Work The CDIP agreed on a possible list of issues and documents for the next session (expected to take place from 9-13 November). The list includes a progress report on the implementation of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda Recommendations, and continued discussion on: patent flexibilities and the update of the database on flexibilities; the external review on WIPO technical assistance, with the update of the management response; and on the report on the Expert Forum on International Technology Transfer with inputs from member states. Also in the list is a WIPO General Assembly decision on CDIP-related matters. This asked the committee to come up with recommendations on the reporting of WIPO committees’ implementation of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda Recommendations. Mexico also suggested that the CDIP adopt a programme contributing to the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda. Positive Outcome, Some Issues Outstanding Most delegations taking the floor on the last day of the session underlined a positive meeting, and in particular praised the adoption of the new project on IP, tourism and culture. During the week, several delegations submitted proposals in an effort to unlock long-stalled discussions on divergent issues. Mexican Proposal on Coordination Mechanism On 22 April, Mexico tabled a proposal [pdf] intended to advance the discussion about the coordination mechanism of the Development Agenda. The proposal sets out a possible systematisation of the compliance of committees with the coordination mechanism. The proposal did not get approved, according to a source. Standing Agenda Item on IP and Development On the same day, Algeria and Nigeria submitted a document [pdf] based on a previous proposal [pdf] of the Development Agenda Group listing proposed topics for discussion under a potential standing agenda item on IP and development in the CDIP (IPW, WIPO, 23 April 2015). According to the summary by the chair, “the Chair of the Committee was requested to undertake, if feasible, informal consultations on the margins of the 2015 General Assembly meeting, without interfering with other issues before the Assembly, on the basis of an informal working paper by the Chair and a list of examples of activities that might be discussed in the CDIP, proposed by the delegations of Algeria and Nigeria.” The CDIP requested that the General Assembly next September allow the committee to continue discussing the coordination mechanism of the Development Agenda, and the inclusion of a standing agenda item in the CDIP on IP and development. Technical Assistance In addition, the committee will continue discussion on the Spanish proposal of 23 April, which offered an informal list [pdf] of six possible actions on technical assistance. The African Group regretted that a decision could not be made on the proposal by Spain on technical assistance. Elena Bourtchouladze contributed to this story. 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."Positive Note For WIPO Committee On IP And Development, Some Issues Remain" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.