Delegates Look To April For Consensus On Development Agenda Coordination 20/11/2009 by Kaitlin Mara for 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)Informal negotiations appeared to bring the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property within reach of consensus on a coordination mechanism for the Development Agenda early this morning, but this afternoon governments were unable to overcome remaining differences. Solving outstanding differences will have to wait until the next meeting of the CDIP in April, where the task will be made the first substantive agenda item, according to participants. At the conclusion of the informal negotiating sessions, a side-by-side compilation of two proposals for coordination laid out still-differing positions, and is expected to be considered at the next meeting. Update: the compilation document is available here [pdf]. At the end of the meeting, delegates agreed on a modified Development Agenda project proposal on intellectual property and the public domain [pdf], though some elements on it remain to be discussed in April. Projects on the enhancing WIPO’s results-based management framework [pdf] to support monitoring and evaluation and on competition policy [pdf] were also approved, participants said. Also in April, a new chair will be elected. The CDIP met from 16 – 20 November. Optimism Despite Delay Optimism rather than tension pervaded as the meeting drew to a close, as delegates said they were coming to a better understanding of each other’s positions on the coordination mechanism. “Thank God, we are bringing diplomacy to WIPO … this means listening to each other,” said one participant, who added that the discussions had been much more professional, and therefore much more fruitful, than at previous sessions. Other participants expressed similar views. “We know where the elements are. We have understood each other,” said Alexandra Grazioli, senior legal advisor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and chair of the Group B of developed countries. “Now it’s fine-tuning the wording.” Working Toward a Coordination Mechanism Two proposals for were on the table at the beginning of the week: one from Algeria, Brazil, and Pakistan – later officially co-sponsored by India, and supported by a coalition of ‘like-minded’ developing countries – and one from Group B (IPW, WIPO, 17 November 2009). The like-minded proposal had originally called for special sessions, at which reports from all WIPO committees on activities related to Development Agenda implementation would be discussed. Group B’s original submission said existing CDIP sessions were adequate to handle the process, and that WIPO committees should report to the General Assembly rather than to the CDIP to avoid seeming to upset the equal balance of all WIPO committees. In informal sessions last night no unified text was approved, but the differing positions were adequately illuminated for delegates to see a way forward, according to participants. Today, two revised proposals from both sides of the issue obtained by Intellectual Property Watch prior to the start of the afternoon’s informal sessions seemed to indicate strides towards a middle ground, but in the end it was not enough to reach agreement at this session. Delegates moved towards consensus on having the monitoring, review, and assessment duties of the CDIP made the first substantive agenda item during regular CDIP sessions, with the assurance that it be given adequate time for the work to be completed, according to copies of informally circulating draft text obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. But the proposals differed in nuance. The Group B modified text allowed that the duration of the CDIP might be extended “on an exceptional basis” if extra time was needed. The ‘like-minded’ modified text said the possibility of extending time should be discussed if not enough progress is achieved after two days of negotiation. There was also convergence that a chapter on development be included in WIPO’s annual report to the UN, as follows the agreement between the UN and WIPO. And some movement was made on how reports from other committees would be handled. The revised Group B proposal requests the CDIP undertake an independent review of Development Agenda recommendations, which was not included in its original proposal. The revised like-minded proposal requests that reports from different WIPO committees be sent to the General Assemblies (and then that the assemblies forward them to the CDIP for review), which seems intended to allay Group B’s concerns about upsetting committee balance. But disagreement remained on whether all WIPO bodies should be required to engage in and report Development Agenda related projects, or only “relevant” ones. Whether or not the WIPO Audit Committee can play a role in ensuring proper implementation was also in question. A group of ‘like-minded’ developing countries would like its role to be explored but developed countries feel that it is outside the Audit Committee’s mandate. IP and the Public Domain The project on intellectual property and the public domain, intended to deepen analysis of the impact of a “deep and accessible” public domain, and promote related norm-setting activities, had focussed on four areas: copyright and related rights, trademarks, patents, and traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. Update: An updated (though not final) draft of the project indicating some of the modifications made is available here[pdf]. Modifications made this week included removing references to traditional knowledge and cultural expressions, and adding additional text to the section on copyright. A proposal from Bolivia that the patent section include exploration of patent thickets and “evergreening” (extending patent protection by making slight modifications in an existing patented item) was not accepted, primarily due to objections by the United States, sources said. That issue will continue to be discussed in April. William New contributed to this report. 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 Kaitlin Mara may be reached at email@example.com."Delegates Look To April For Consensus On Development Agenda Coordination" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.