WIPO Development Agenda Coordination Seizes Up; Projects Approved 27/11/2010 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)As the first flurries of snow gave Geneva a foretaste of winter, delegates yesterday ended a week of negotiations in the World Intellectual Property Organization committee overseeing implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda. They agreed on some projects and postponed discussions on others until the next session, but remained frozen without agreement on details of the coordination mechanism for Agenda implementation. Numerous corridor discussions and informal meetings did not help the process. The WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) meeting took place from 22-26 November. The final summary of the chair, approved by members, is available here. The coordination mechanism was agreed at the May CDIP and approved at the WIPO General Assembly in September, making this week the first substantive discussions on the implementation of the mechanism. Differences appear to have arisen from variations in the interpretation of the text. For instance, problems surrounded the reporting modalities for the mechanism and which WIPO committees should be asked to report to the WIPO General Assembly on implementation of the Development Agenda. The text calls for “coordination of the CDIP with other relevant WIPO bodies.” On Friday afternoon, a last effort was made to find agreement in an informal meeting but it failed and no consensus was found. Discussions might arise as early as next week in the 6th session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement on whether or not it is appropriate to have an agenda item on the implementation of the Development Agenda. A developing country source told Intellectual Property Watch that Group B of developed countries wanted an agreement on the reporting modalities first before agreeing on relevant committees. However, the African Group wanted an agreement on the “whole package.” European Union sources said that clarity might have to be brought by the General Assembly on which committees should be relevant to the coordination mechanism. Several sources told Intellectual Property Watch that some countries tried unsuccessfully to come to a less formal “gentlemen’s agreement” on the subject, although several countries said there was common ground on several items of the discussion. One reason for differences was that some countries said the CDIP might not be the competent forum to discuss the issue, as the CDIP does not have the mandate to make decisions for other committees. Agreement on Projects The mandate of the CDIP, as established by the General Assembly (document A/43/16, page 135), is to: develop a work programme for implementation of the 45 adopted Development Agenda recommendations; monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations, and coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies; and discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly. The committee reports and makes recommendations annually to the General Assembly. One of the projects in this week’s meeting documents for delegations was on technology transfer and addressed WIPO Development Agenda recommendations 19, 25, 26 and 28. This project could not be approved on at the last CDIP meeting. This week, after two versions, the project was approved. Recommendation 19 would “initiate discussions on how, within WIPO’s mandate, to further facilitate access to knowledge and technology for developing countries and least developed countries to foster creativity and innovation….” Recommendation 25 calls on members “to explore IP-related policies and initiatives necessary to promote the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the benefit of developing countries….” Recommendation 26 would “encourage member states, especially developed countries, to urge their research and scientific institutions to enhance cooperation….” Recommendation 28 urges members “to explore supportive IP-related policies and measures member states, especially developed countries, could adopt for promoting transfer and dissemination of technology to developing countries.” The project on “intellectual property and technology transfer: common challenges – building solutions,” was a revised version [pdf] of a previous document presented at the fifth session of the committee in April, taking into consideration discussions held during the April session, as it could not meet consensus then. The version presented at the beginning of this week gathered non-controversial elements of the project, a source told Intellectual Property Watch. The project consisted of five phases towards developing a New Platform for Technology Transfer and IP Collaboration. It included activities such as the organisation of five regional technology transfer consultation meetings, peer-reviewed analytic studies, the organisation of a High-Level International Expert Forum, the creation of a Web Forum on technology transfer and IP, and “the incorporation of any adopted set of recommendations resulting from the above activities into the WIPO programs.” Two revisions of the project text were submitted to the plenary meeting. The second revision was submitted yesterday to delegates, reflecting discussions on previous versions, and the text was agreed with all changes. A slight additional change in the approved version was a “step-by-step” approach involving new partners. Previous texts included a list of those new potential partners: technology managers, scientists, legal and business people and civil society organisations. Some countries did not approve of the list and a broader language was adopted: new partners involved in all aspects of technology transfer, sources told Intellectual Property Watch. The first revision of the text is here [pdf]. The second revision of the text is here [pdf]. Based on Recommendation 36, the project entitled Open Collaborative Projects and IP-Based Models was also adopted by member states. Recommendation 36 asks “to exchange experiences on open collaborative projects such as the Human Genome Project as well as on intellectual property models.” However, a project on patents and the public domain, based on recommendations 16 and 20, was not approved. The United States asked for the project to be discussed at the next session of the CDIP because their delegation had to consult with capital, a WIPO source told Intellectual Property Watch. The project includes three elements: the important role of a rich and accessible public domain, the impact of certain enterprise practices in the field of patents on the public domain, and possible norm-setting activities at WIPO on the public domain. The element concerning the impact of enterprise practices was the one which seemed to need further assessment, the source said. Another project proposed by Egypt on South-South cooperation was discussed during the week (IPW, WIPO, 22 November 2010). A developing country delegate told Intellectual Property Watch that the project was supported by the Development Agenda Group, Asian Group, African Group and China (a group by itself). Group B countries said they needed to consult their capital on this new project, which will be discussed at the next session of the CDIP. 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."WIPO Development Agenda Coordination Seizes Up; Projects Approved" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.