WIPO Committee On Development Solves Two Standing Issues, Breaks Cycle Of Disagreement

WIPO CDIP - WIPO Flickr

After months of repeated difficulties in WIPO committees plagued by stalled decisions or inability to agree on future work, the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) appears to have turned the odds and managed to agree on two longstanding issues.

WIPO’s Assistance To Developing Countries: Taking Forward The Unfinished Reform Agenda

University Oxford Logo - Nov 2014

At this week’s Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), WIPO Member States continue to debate next steps on the unprecedented 2011 External Review of WIPO’s assistance to developing countries. With a new Deputy Director General for the WIPO’s Development Sector due to start work this December, the prospect of new leadership also marks a time for Members to provide clear direction. They should act this week and in the coming months to set clear priorities for the Secretariat – and for themselves – that would give greater focus to the ongoing work of improving WIPO’s development cooperation activities, and to establish a mechanism for monitoring progress.

African IP Body Steps Up Regional Effort To Adopt Plant Protection Protocol

Sorghum - Flickr -  Cyndy Sims Parr

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), with the help of the United States and an international plant variety organisation, is working to grow regional support for a controversial draft law. The draft protocol would boost protection for new plant varieties, despite concerns of local civil society that it would not be in the best interest of ARIPO members’ food security due to its potential impact on small farmers. ARIPO held a regional workshop on the issue in recent weeks in part to build support for a treaty negotiation to lock in these protections.

Zephyr Of Hope For Longstanding Issues At WIPO Committee On Development And IP

WIPO Building 5 - WIPO Flickr

A lighter mood seems to have set in at the World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), after a year of what was qualified as a cycle of disagreements by some. Although delegates reiterated previous positions on some longstanding agenda items, some middle-ground alternatives seem to have gained attention.

WIPO Committee On Development And IP Opens With Overloaded Agenda

Pile of papers - Flickr -  Sebastien Wiertz

The World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) opened today with a heavy agenda and open issues that carried over from past sessions. In particular, delegates are expected to find agreement on a list of speakers, which would unlock the convening of an international conference on IP and development. They also must agree on the terms of reference of an independent review of WIPO’s implementation of the 45 Recommendations of the 2007 Development Agenda.

TRIPS Council Next Week: Tobacco, Innovation, Non-Violations, Public Health Review

WTO   - Catherine Saez

The next meeting of the World Trade Organization Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is scheduled to take place on 28-29 October. In addition to the regular agenda items of the Council, two additional agenda items have been submitted by members, relating to tobacco plain packaging and innovation. Image Credits: Catherine Saez

UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS at UNCTAD Investment Forum

Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.

UPOV Governing Body Meets This Week Amid Civil Society Concerns Over Harmonisation

Plant Variety - Flickr - Dwight Sipler

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is holding meetings of its governing and technical bodies this week. In particular, the UPOV Council is expected to renew Francis Gurry’s mandate as the organisation’s secretary-general, approve technical documents, and confirm the conformity of a Tanzanian plant breeders’ rights act.

Meanwhile, civil society has sounded the alarm over what it considers to be efforts to harmonise the application and examination procedures by the seed industry. Separately, a civil society study, carried out on three developing countries claims that UPOV 1991 might be threatening the global right to food.

“Trade Matters” For BRICS In Africa, So Does Internet Connectivity

publicForumLogo 2014

Last week’s World Trade Organization Public Forum hosted dozens of panels on the general theme of “why trade matters.” A panel focusing on the role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) found that the new BRICS Development Bank could foster infrastructure development in Africa, while another panel said that removing barriers to internet connectivity is key to economic growth.

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.