Copenhagen Meeting: Third Tech Transfer Draft May Go To Ministers, With IP 16/12/2009 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for 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)COPENHAGEN – A third version of the draft text on development and transfer of technology was issued at the high-level climate meeting in Copenhagen on 15 December and includes language on intellectual property rights. It may soon be presented to the ministers as the meeting goes into its “high-level session” during the last crucial days, or at least the IP language may be referred to the ministers to discuss, sources said. Well-known figures such as the Prince of Wales and Al Gore arrived for the opening ceremony of the high-level session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) on 15 December. The meeting started on 7 December and will last until 18 December. More than a 100 heads of state and governments are expected over the next few days. Urgency was emphasised at the high-level session. “If we are going to make it – and we are! – well, then we must change gears,” said COP15 Chair Connie Hedegaard on 15 December. But while “real” negotiations are starting now, the contact group on development and transfer of technology has been busy during the first week and a half of the meeting. One draft was issued on 8 December with a number of intellectual property references, another on 14 December [pdf, note: a clean copy will be posted when available], which contained no mentioning of intellectual property and then yet another on 15 December, in which IP was back in (IPW, Environment, 14 December 2009). Based on this latest paper and including the same language on IP (under Article 17), the chair of one of the negotiating tracks at the meeting has issued a new draft decision on “enhanced action on technology development and transfer” [pdf]. The technology draft text is being discussed as part of the UN Convention under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (LCA). The Kyoto Protocol is discussed separately. Commenting on the third draft text and the re-introduction of the IP language, Sangeeta Shashikant with the Bolivian delegation told Intellectual Property Watch that developing countries were “very happy it is there.” A developed country official told Intellectual Property Watch that the new text was very developing country friendly. The second version of the draft text, which had no mention of IP and was only four pages long, was like the other contact group papers prepared by the facilitators of Japan and Trinidad and Tobago. One developing country official told Intellectual Property Watch that some countries such as the United States had proposed to have a shorter version of the first draft. Developing countries had, however, rejected the new version in which there was no mention of intellectual property, the official said, adding that the facilitators argued that they had misunderstood and this was what they had been asked to do. The facilitators were not available for comment at press time. Before the short, second version of the draft text, intellectual property was subject to heated debate but later it was decided to go through the issues step by step. IP was only mentioned in Article 12 and Annex VIII. Time was spent discussing research, which also could be linked to IP. Bernarditas de Castro-Muller, one of the lead negotiators of G77 developing countries, told Intellectual Property Watch that developed countries had committed to the transfer of technology to developing countries under the UN Convention, especially Article 4.1.c. “It is a commitment already in the Convention,” she said. Chaotic Process Shashikant said the process with the technology draft texts “has been pretty chaotic.” “The new text that came out [the facilitators’ second version] took us many steps back,” she said, adding that it “was intended to pre-empt any specific negotiation” and that it was in favour of certain parties’ interests. Shashikant said that it disregarded the past two years’ of work by G77 by removing all references to IP. She said the United States did not want any references to IP in a draft text, and one of its strategies was “not to discuss IPRs.” Intellectual Property Watch was unable to get a comment from the US delegate to the contact group and has requested a comment from the US delegation through the formal process at COP15. Way Ahead At press time it was still unclear what would happen to the technology draft text, the developed country official said, but added that rumours were that informals would continue in order to strike out any differences on the text. Later it would be referred to the ministers. The official said that IPR references were expected to be deleted from the text, but this issue would be referred to the ministers. Separately, at a side-event held by various UN organisations on 16 December on technology, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, said that rather than technology transfer, it was really a question of technology policy, of which technology transfer was a part. He said IP rights provide incentives for innovation and a means by which the fruits of research and development can go from “mind to market.” Also, they provide a framework for trading [intellectual] assets. Gurry said that while IPRs might be considered a barrier, it was quite different in the case of technology than in access to medicines, when the patent of a specific chemical entity could constitute a barrier. Gurry said a lot of technology is off patent but not necessarily transferred because of lack of policy, and in many cases alternatives are available. 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 Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen may be reached at email@example.com."Copenhagen Meeting: Third Tech Transfer Draft May Go To Ministers, With IP" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.