Friction Arises Over WIPO Development Agenda Coordination 25/11/2010 by Catherine Saez, 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)Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization this week are working through details of projects related to boosting the UN agency’s development orientation. But simultaneous closed, informal meetings on a mechanism for coordinating WIPO Development Agenda activities have proven more difficult, as developed countries try to contain the spread of the development committee’s influence – and work through their own differences, according to sources. Delegates this week are seeking consensus on how the Development Agenda coordination mechanism should be implemented, including to which WIPO committees it should apply. Views are divergent as some countries believe the mechanism should have a wide span and cover all WIPO committees while others say that only some should be concerned. The Development Agenda Group also asked for qualitative analysis on the implementation of the Development Agenda. The sixth session of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is meeting from 22-26 November. The committee oversees the implementation of the 45 recommendations of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda. On Tuesday, delegates held an informal meeting on the coordination mechanism, which was agreed at the last session in May and approved at the last WIPO General Assembly. Those were preliminary discussions but a clear schism appeared between proponents of a large spectrum mechanism that would cover all WIPO committees, like the Development Agenda Group (DAG), and other countries, like group B countries which would prefer a selection of committees with direct development issues, although there is no clear consensus among Group B countries, a source told Intellectual Property Watch. On Wednesday, Abdul Hannan of Bangladesh, the committee chairperson announced that no conclusion had been reached on the coordination mechanism, according to sources. The CDIP was mandated under the 2007 Development Agenda to: “(i) develop a work-program for the implementation of the 45 adopted recommendations, (ii) monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies; and (iii) discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.” Among the concerns of Group B of developed countries, the CDIP should not be telling other committees “to do things” the source said. However, consensus on the coordination mechanism would avoid replicating discussions in each committee, she said. Sources also said that there is disagreement about where decisions should be made about which committees are ‘relevant’ – in the CDIP or at the annual General Assemblies. The equality of WIPO committees was an issue in the coordination mechanism negotiations last year (IPW, WIPO, 30 April 2010). Absence of consensus on the coordination mechanism likely would lead to discussion on the relevance of a specific item on individual committee agendas, sources told Intellectual Property Watch. This was the case in both the last session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents and the Committee on WIPO Standards, which was adjourned for lack of agreement on two agenda items one of which related to development issues. The Development Agenda Group on Wednesday released a statement saying that the group, launched at the previous CDIP session in April, reaffirmed its guiding principles [pdf] tabled at that meeting. The statement [pdf] said that “it would be fair to say that there is an overall movement in the right direction, that there is, undeniably, some measure of progress towards the effective implementation of the Development Agenda.” However, it said, “there is still a long way to go.” The DAG called for member states to undertake a qualitative analysis on the implementation of the Development Agenda, including for example, “discussions on the impact of the recommendations that have already been implemented, on the remaining obstacles to the effective implementation of the recommendations into all WIPO bodies and activities,” and “how the development dimension is being incorporated into on-going norm-setting activities.” The statement also called for a “major international conference on integrating development into IP policy-making,” and suggests that the process of preparation for the conference be undertaken by the CDIP. Implementation Projects The committee this week has discussed a number of projects and project proposals to be carried out, such as a project on intellectual property and technology transfer, a project on patents and the public domain, and open collaborative projects and IP-based models. Also Wednesday, the European Union submitted a statement on intellectual property and technology transfer asking in particular for clarification on the committee project on that subject. For example, the statement called for a more detailed explanation on the legal status and form of the New Platform for Technology Transfer and IP Collaboration as presented in the WIPO project. The same day, the African Group said some of its concerns on the technology transfer project had not yet been addressed, according to a statement [pdf] obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. The African Group suggested inputs be received from regional consultations, studies, and a web forum to the CDIP where they could be discussed and put into a work programme. On the open collaborative projects, the Free Software Foundation Europe submitted a statement welcoming the proposal for open collaborative projects but questioned the selection of collaborative projects to be studied. The Foundation expressed surprise at not finding open source or any free software projects among the collaborative projects to be evaluated. “Free Software is likely the most mature example of an open collaborative project that is currently available to us,” and is widely documented, they said, adding that similar considerations applied for projects such as the Creative Commons model for copyright licensing, and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The project presented in document CDIP 6/6 [pdf] consists of the elaboration of a taxonomy-analytical study with the help of external consultants, and would include work with the Human Genome Project and the European Commission’s Open Living Labs and other private firms’ experiences such as InnoCentive, an open innovation company, the Merck Gene Index, and Natura, the largest Brazilian cosmetic company. Kaitlin Mara contributed to this story. 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 Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Friction Arises Over WIPO Development Agenda Coordination" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.