US Backs Keplinger For WIPO Job; Reacts To Patent Harmonisation Stalemate13/04/2006 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.[For the official biography of Michael Keplinger, please see IPW, May 5, 2006, WIPO]The United States government today confirmed it has put forward a senior Commerce Department official’s name for a top spot at the World Intellectual Property Organization. It also vowed to keep pushing for global patent system harmonisation within and outside WIPO, a day after an effort to set a work programme on the patent issue broke down for the year.“The USPTO [US Patent and Trademark Office] confirms that the US Administration has officially supported the candidacy of Michael Keplinger of the USPTO for a WIPO deputy director position,” said USPTO spokeswoman Brigid Quinn.Keplinger is senior counsel at the office of international relations in the US Patent and Trademark Office, which is part of the US Department of Commerce. He is a frequent visitor to WIPO for key negotiations.At press time, Quinn could not confirm which position Keplinger is being considered for, but several sources said it is the post of Deputy Director for Copyright and Related Rights currently held by fellow American Rita Hayes.A WIPO spokeswoman did not specifically comment on Hayes’ impending departure, but said WIPO Director General Kamil Idris is “still in the process of undertaking informal consultations ahead of making proposals to the Coordination Committee for the positions of deputy directors general and assistant directors general.”The Coordination Committee will meet on 19-20 June. The WIPO spokeswoman said that geographical distribution “is a consideration in all appointments, not just top management.” The WIPO Convention does not set limits on terms for these positions, she said, adding that the appointments are approved by the Coordination Committee on the proposal of the director general.US Vows to Persist on Patent HarmonisationMeanwhile, the USPTO reacted to the 12 April scrapping of the patent harmonisation agenda for this year (IPW, WIPO, 12 April 2006) with disappointment, lack of surprise, and resolve to continue.“The USPTO, while disappointed that WIPO member states could not agree on a work plan for the Standing Committee on Patents, is not particularly surprised by this result,” Quinn said. “We think that the moratorium that was agreed upon may provide an opportunity for member states to reflect upon the benefits that patent harmonisation could bring for both developed and developing countries and permit the WIPO Secretariat to most effectively focus their limited resources on concrete projects rather than endless discussions.”“The United States intends to continue to pursue substantive patent law harmonisation discussions in a variety of fora, including in bilateral and plurilateral discussions,” she said. “We are convinced that harmonisation will benefit all stakeholders, including SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], multinational patent applicants, IP offices of all sizes, developing countries, and the general public because of streamlined and simplified procedures and improved patent quality.”Plans for a five-day meeting of the Standing Committee on Patents were abandoned after an informal SCP meeting on 10-12 April ended in disagreement. The issue has been thrown back to the WIPO General Assembly, which meets in September.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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"US Backs Keplinger For WIPO Job; Reacts To Patent Harmonisation Stalemate" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.