WIPO Members Renew Debate Over Development Agenda Implementation, Coordination04/05/2011 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 1 CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.A debate has arisen this week among World Intellectual Property Organization members over a WIPO secretariat report on implementation of the 2007 Development Agenda, which was intended to infuse a stronger development dimension into the UN agency’s activities. The 7th meeting of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is taking place from 2-6 May.Discussions so far this week have focused on projects implementing the 45 Development Agenda recommendations, and developing countries have raised concern over a “lack of concreteness” in the WIPO director general’s report on implementation thus far. At the week’s midpoint, delegates had turned to an attempt to renew politically charged discussions on a coordination mechanism for Development Agenda implementation.Delegates opened the week with a discussion of the director general’s report on implementation, covering the period from January to December 2010. The report provided a summary of the Development Agenda projects, the outlook for the future, and an overview of the achievements of the 19 Development Agenda projects currently under implementation, according to the report [pdf].According to some developing country sources, the report gave only broad assessments and lacked details on how the recommendations were implemented. The Philippines, for example, in a statement [pdf], asked for more clarity on how the Development Agenda has been mainstreamed in the work of other WIPO bodies. In particular, they asked how the recommendations were mainstreamed in the context of a proposal for changes to industrial design law currently under discussion at WIPO (IPW, WIPO, 4 April 2011). The Philippines also requested clarifications on the project on “Improvement of National, Sub-Regional and Regional IP Institutional Capacity.”According to a source, the European Union said that the Development Agenda had been taken into account across WIPO in all relevant bodies. The EU also showed concern as to whether WIPO’s resources would be impacted by too many projects at a given time and asked that consideration be given to the follow-up on existing projects when adopting new projects. The EU and its member states said the CDIP should not duplicate the work of other WIPO bodies and international organisations.Brazil, on behalf of the Development Agenda Group, presented an opening statement [pdf] recalling the decision of the General Assembly on “Coordination Mechanisms and Monitoring, Assessing and Reporting Modalities” of the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations, which called for relevant committees to report to the assembly on their development-related activities.According to the statement, two relevant WIPO committees, the Advisory Committee on Enforcement and the Committee on Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications have reported to the General Assembly about their contribution to the implementation of the Development Agenda. However, “these statements were made on an ‘ad hoc basis’,” it said.Member states need a permanent and standard procedure for reporting and to decide which committees should report to the General Assembly, Brazil said.Coordination Mechanism DiscussionsToday, delegates went into informal meetings to try to reach an agreement on the coordination mechanism. Discussions at the last session of the CDIP, from 22-26 November, hit a wall when delegates could not agree on the mechanism.The coordination mechanism, under guidelines approved by the 2010 General Assembly, is intended to provide the tool to implement the 45 recommendations across the whole organisation, including all relevant committees.The main issue on which countries disagree is to which committees the coordination mechanism should apply. According to several sources, some developing countries would like the coordination mechanism to apply to all WIPO committees, and Group B developed countries would like the mechanism to apply to only selected committees.According to a developing country sources, there is a need to have a standard agenda item on each committee, on the session nearest to the General Assembly, and the reported discussions, country statements if applicable, should be sent to the General Assembly.The Development Agenda Group was constituted in April 2010, on the eve of the fifth session of the CDIP and includes at the launch: Algeria, Brazil, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uruguay and Yemen.Project UpdatesSeveral projects were also discussed this week, in particular a study on copyright and related rights and the public domain, which is not yet a project, but a study commissioned by WIPO and presented at the last session of the CDIP (IPW, WIPO, 26 November 2011).The study offers a set of recommendations relating to the identification of the public domain, its availability and sustainability, and the non-exclusivity and non-rivalry of the public domain. According to some sources, the United States showed concern at some of those recommendations, in particular on the recommendation to amend the 1996 WIPO treaties to prohibit a technical impediment to reproduce, publicly communicate or make available a work that has fallen into the public domain. According to the study [pdf], “technological measures mainly protecting public domain works, with an ancillary and minimal presence of copyrighted works, should not enjoy legal protection.”India, on the other hand, asked that work be taken further on this study, according to sources. Delegates were due to discuss informally about the possibility to take further steps this afternoon.The Library Copyright Alliance delivered a statement [pdf] in favor of the study.Delegates also discussed a project on the issue of IP and “brain drain”, in relation with Development Agenda Recommendation 39, which asks that WIPO assist developing countries, especially African countries, in cooperation with relevant international organisations, by conducting studies on departures of skilled workers to bigger economies and make recommendations. According to a source, the project was broadly adopted.Another project [pdf] discussed was on patent-related flexibilities in the multilateral legal framework and their legislative implementation at the national and regional levels. This project gave way to many comments from different countries. CDIP Chair Adbul Hannan of Bangladesh decided to take note of the many comments and asked delegations to submit written comments to the secretariat for the discussion to be continued at the next session of the CDIP.Expected to be discussed during the remainder of the meeting are: a project on South-South cooperation [pdf], a discussion paper [pdf] on intellectual property and the informal economy, as well as a proposal [pdf] made during the last meeting by Brazil on behalf of the DAG, to create a permanent CDIP agenda item on intellectual property and development. Under this agenda item, it is proposed to look at issues such as reports on the discussions of the WIPO seminar series on “The Economics of Intellectual Property,” and WIPO’s contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals.In its opening statement, Brazil said that this new agenda item “should be devoted to discussing matters covered by the third pillar of the very decision that created the CDIP.”According to Brazil’s statement, the first pillar of the CDIP is “to develop a work-program for implementation of the adopted recommendations,” the second one is “to monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose it shall coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies,” and the third one is “to discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.”Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (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)RelatedCatherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO Members Renew Debate Over Development Agenda Implementation, Coordination" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.