WIPO Patent Committee Opens Way To New Thinking On Future Work Plan 26/06/2008 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)[Note: the final version of the chair’s text is now available on the WIPO website.] By William New World Intellectual Property Organization members discussing a work plan for the committee on patent law on Thursday finished work for the year by opening the way for the committee to address a wider range of topics when it resumes in 2009. The group adopted a chair’s text from Wednesday with only a few small changes, and a redrafted provision on a conference next year on patents and other public policy matters such as perhaps health or environment. The WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) was scheduled to meet from 23-27 June, but ended one day early after agreement was reached. A list of possible topics for discussion next year was agreed with the understanding that changes may be made before October. If agreed, the committee will have its first formal work plan in two years. “We have agreed on several building blocks to get to the work programme,” Chairman Maximiliano Santa Cruz of Chile said afterward. The latest draft chair’s text is available on Intellectual Property Watch (IPW, WIPO, 25 June 2008). The final version is on the WIPO website: click here. In the chair’s draft, Article 8.d caused the most discussion on the final morning, participants said. The article outlines a suggestion that WIPO host a conference in 2009 on issues related to other public policy issues. The linkage of the conference topics to the patent committee’s work and also to other WIPO bodies was strengthened so that, according to an official, the paragraph now reads: [The committee] “suggested that in the framework of the SCP and, where relevant, also with other WIPO bodies, the Director General consider including in the revised Program and Budget for 2009, provision for a Conference on issues relating to the implications, including public policy implications, of patents on certain areas of public policy such as health, the environment, climate change or food security.” One point of discussion, according to sources, was whether to tie work of the committee to biodiversity issues, which are the subject of a separate committee at WIPO. The other changes to the draft chair’s text included the change of the word “excellent” to “good” in Article 7, which refers to a secretariat report on the global patent system providing a basis for discussion. Also in Article 7, the word “exploration” was changed to “elaboration and discussion,” and the words “(see Annex) “were changed as well, so that the sentence ended as: “the SCP identified a non-exhaustive list of issues for further elaboration and discussion in the future, which appears in the annex to this document.” Another change, under Article 8.a, was to add that comments to the secretariat on the document must be made by the end of October 2008. In Article 8.c, two uses of the word “including” were changed to “inter alia.” Four areas for which further study by the secretariat was requested might end up as the initial focus of the group, a source said. Those include a patent database, exceptions and limitations, standards, and attorney-client privilege. But no decisions have been made. The committee recommendation will go before the WIPO General Assembly, the annual gathering of members, in September for final approval. A broader focus could be seen as the way to keep the committee discussing more contentious topics such as harmonisation of national patent laws, which was the primary focus and primary stumbling block in recent years. William New may be reached at email@example.com. 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 Patent Committee Opens Way To New Thinking On Future Work Plan" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.