WIPO Members To Seek Agreement On Development Agenda 24/06/2006 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a 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)As they head into the final scheduled meeting of the year on a proposed development-oriented reform of the World Intellectual Property Organization, member governments are looking for agreement on how to proceed – this week and in the future. Officials interviewed on 23 June revealed that deep divisions remain heading into the 26-30 June meeting of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA). But all sides sought to put forward a positive attitude that a compromise could be found on differences in the week to come. PCDA Chairman Rigoberto Gauto Vielman of Paraguay met with key delegations for several hours on 23 June. Afterward, he told Intellectual Property Watch that the meeting was intended to hear views and discuss how to proceed this week, but that another meeting would be needed before the PCDA begins on 26 June. Also on 23 June, the 15 Friends of Development proposed a draft outcome for the PCDA which is intended to facilitate the conversion of proposals into a draft recommendation by bringing about a “drafting exercise” for an outcome. It narrows the 111 proposals in the committee to 21. The proposal envisions a recommendation for a “high-level declaration on intellectual property and development” and would institute measures to ensure WIPO activities are developing country friendly. The new paper attempts to remove repetition and make the issue of grappling with numerous proposals easier, a proponent said. It is a “serious and honest effort” to bring in most points made in proposals from the African Group, Arab countries and the Group B developed countries, along with the Friends of Development proposals, the source said. The new paper appeared to elicit scepticism from some other delegations in early reactions. The outcome of the development agenda process is seen as having potentially high stakes for all sides, as it could shift the balance of power in WIPO more toward developing countries. Developed countries own the vast majority of the world’s intellectual property and are the home of the majority of WIPO users, who account for most of its revenue. They are not eager for change at WIPO. Most developing countries, on the other hand, have equal rights in the UN organisation, perceive a disequilibrium in WIPO’s work programme and are seeking to change it. A key split, which carries over from the first PCDA in February (IPW, WIPO, 24 February 2006), appears to be how to address the numerous proposals (said to total 111) before the committee this week. A second difference appears to be on whether the development agenda should be infused throughout WIPO activities or addressed in a contained fashion through a single committee. And there also are differences on the wide-ranging proposals themselves. The committee was tasked by the October 2005 WIPO General Assembly (the annual gathering of member states) with addressing a series of proposals and reporting back to the 2006 General Assembly in September. The idea for a development agenda originated with Brazil and Argentina in 2004, and is supported by 13 other Friends of Development. The United States, generally joined by the rest of the Group B developed countries, has taken a strong stand against substantive change at WIPO. The US delegation, to be led by Lois Boland of the US Patent and Trademark Office, is expected to exhibit openness to continuing a dialogue into the future on concerns raised by developing countries, sources said. But it is not planning to agree to proposals for significant change across a variety of committees and activities at WIPO, as proposed by the Friends of Development, they said. In addition to the Friends of Development idea for handling proposals, there are others. Chairman Gauto Vielman said on 23 June that his February proposal for grouping the proposals in three “baskets” is still on the table. He would divide the proposals into those on which there likely could be quick agreement, those that might see agreement, and those that would be longer term – none would be completely dropped, he said. The United States, meanwhile, mindful of the mandate to complete consideration of all proposals this year, has suggested that members should go through the list of 111 and drop any that do not have a possibility of consensus. 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 "WIPO Members To Seek Agreement On Development Agenda" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.