Friends of Development May Narrow WIPO Development Agenda Proposals 28/05/2007 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)By William New The developing countries that in 2004 proposed an agenda for reform of the World Intellectual Property Organization toward stronger consideration of developing country needs are exploring a compromise in advance of the next WIPO meeting on the issue, according to government sources. About 70 proposals, some seen as far-reaching, are slated for consideration at the 11-15 June Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA). Informal discussion by the Friends of Development about refining the proposals is being received positively by other governments, several officials from non-Friends nations said. An informal “non-paper,” was recently filed with the WIPO secretariat and circulated to regional groups for discussion. The Friends are 15 countries, supported by others, seeking substantive changes to WIPO’s mandate. The confidential non-paper is intended to present a way forward and make the remaining proposals more manageable, according to an official from a Friends of Development country. It contains about 24 proposals, including to renew the mandate of the PCDA for two years to monitor implementation and continue negotiations. “We merged similar proposals, softened the language on some we knew were difficult to achieve consensus on,” the official said. “The idea is to retain as much substance as possible without having to undergo excessive negotiation on the rhetoric of it. We want to facilitate consensus and see if we can move forward. Other important issues will be what happens next,” including ensuring accepted proposals are actually worked into WIPO’s programme and budget process. Possible suggestions include strengthening national capacity to: ensure a balance between protecting intellectual property rights and acting in the public interest, protect local innovations, and monitor legislative assistance given by WIPO, a source said. Other possible proposals, the source said, include: asking WIPO to consider ways to help smaller economies increase their access to medicines and food; negotiating an international instrument for protecting traditional knowledge and genetic resources; preserving and boosting access to material in the public domain; and considering a way within WIPO to discuss new ideas to promote innovation, including open collaborative projects that might lead to public goods. Still other possibilities would address exceptions and limitations to international IP rules, technology transfer, prevention of anti-competitive practices, and ways of measuring the impact of WIPO treaties on all countries. The June meeting will be the second and last this year before recommendations go to the September-October annual WIPO General Assembly. The assembly will decide how to proceed on the proposed development agenda, but there has been a sense that substantive progress should be made this year if discussions are to continue. The first meeting, in February, saw agreement on a package of less-controversial proposals (IPW, WIPO, 23 February 2007). “We want to be constructive,” the Friends official said. “The outcome should be measured by the qualitative breadth and scope of the agreed content, not by a mere mathematical total count of agreed recommendations.” William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 "Friends of Development May Narrow WIPO Development Agenda Proposals" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.