WIPO Committee On Development This Week: North-South Differences13/05/2013 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.The committee evaluating the incorporation of a development dimension into the World Intellectual Property Organization activities meets this week with a heavy agenda and some loose ends inherited from the previous meeting. In particular, delegates will have to decide on future work on patent-related flexibilities, agree on measures to improve WIPO technical assistance, and agree on a review of the implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda Recommendations. The eleventh session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is taking place from 13-17 May.WIPO Director General Francis Gurry will present his report [pdf] on the implementation of the Development Agenda for 2012. According to the report, WIPO supported developing and least-developed countries to “become creators, owners and successful users of innovative technologies … with the ultimate goal to contribute to their cultural, social and economic development, and to empower them to become a partner in international IP collaboration, including with developed countries.”The report presents a summary of the contribution of WIPO bodies to the implementation of the Development Agenda in 2012. The WIPO Development Agenda was adopted in 2007 and includes 45 recommendations aiming at enhancing the development dimension of WIPO’s activities.Adopted by the General Assembly in 2010, the CDIP Coordination Mechanism requests that “relevant WIPO bodies” include in their annual report to the General Assembly, a report of their contribution to the implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendations. There has been contention between developing and developed countries on the interpretation of “relevant WIPO bodies.” The Program and Budget Committee (PBC) and the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) do not report on the subject to the General Assembly (IPW, WIPO, 15 November 2012). They are not included in the DG report.According to the DG’s report, by the end of 2012, 27 projects had been adopted by the CDIP, implementing 31 Development Agenda Recommendations, with an estimated financial resource for the implementation of these projects amounting to over CHF 25 millions.Standing Agenda Item on IP and DevelopmentDuring the 6th session of the CDIP, from 22-26 November 2010, the delegation of Brazil on behalf of the Development Agenda Group (DAG) proposed that a standing agenda item entitled “IP and development-related issues,” be added to the CDIP. This has regularly been opposed by Group B developed countries.The DAG, in their proposal, said the decision to establish the CDIP stemmed from the WIPO General Assembly of 2007. The mandate of the CDIP was three-fold: “(i) develop a work-program for the implementation of the 45 adopted WIPO Development Agenda recommendations, (ii) monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose it shall coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies, (iii) discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly.”The issue is expected to be brought up again this session. A developing country source told Intellectual Property Watch that the proposed agenda item was related to the third pillar of the CDIP, and now was a matter of principle. Beyond discussing the adoption of specific projects, which have a definite value added, the DAG would like the CDIP to discuss global challenges relating to development and intellectual property such as in the fields of food security, environment, and public health, the source said.The eventuality of discussing such issues has been an issue for developed countries, the source said.External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance, Still on TableAlso on the agenda is the External Review [pdf] of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development, first submitted in November 2011. The external review, co-authored by Carolyn Deere Birkbeck and Santiago Roca provided a set of recommendations to improve WIPO’s technical assistance activities in the area of cooperation for development. The WIPO secretariat had been asked to identify recommendations [pdf] contained in the external review that are in the process of implementation, and report on the progress of this implementation.At the ninth session of the CDIP, from 7-11 May 2012, the DAG and the African Group submitted a joint proposal, co-sponsored by Bolivia, identifying specific proposals from the external review and ways to implement them. Those are recommendations which appear as most important for the groups, an African Group source told Intellectual Property Watch, adding that this is expected to be one of the key issues of this session of the CDIP.Another key point will be discussions on a study on the Feasibility of Integration of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Related Needs/Outcomes into WIPO’s Biennial Results Framework. During the last session of the CDIP, the WIPO secretariat has been tasked with preparing the study which was expected to identify specific indicators measuring WIPO’s contribution to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Developing countries are interested in WIPO including the MDGs and post-MDGs into its global strategy, a developing country source told Intellectual Property Watch.Future Work on Patent-Related Flexibilities to be DecidedLeft aside for discussions at this session is the future work of the CDIP on patent-related flexibilities in the multilateral legal framework. Developed countries hold the general view that the topic of flexibilities is already being dealt with in the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), while developing countries are insisting that parent-related flexibilities should be examined by the CDIP, and that the committee should continue working on them. So no decision was taken during the last session on future work of the committee on this topic (IPW, WIPO, 17 November 2013).In the last session, the African Group had asked that the WIPO secretariat prepare a paper elaborating on the public health-related patent flexibilities available in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).Four flexibilities have been considered by the committee for future work: the scope of the exclusion from patentability of plants (TRIPS Article 27); flexibilities in respect of the patentability, or exclusion from patentability, of software-related invention (TRIPS Article 27), flexibility to apply or not criminal sanctions in patent enforcement (TRIPS Article 61), and measures related to security which might result in a limitation of patent rights (TRIPS Article 73).Review of Development Agenda: South Eager to Start, North Not So MuchThe WIPO General Assembly of 2010 establishing the Coordination Mechanism also requested that the CDIP undertake an independent review of the implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendation at the end of the 2012-2013 biennium. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) and the selection of independent IP and development experts is expected to be agreed on by the CDIP.Developing countries would prefer to start discussion on the ToRs at this session, while developed countries had expressed at the last session that discussions could be initiated at the committee’s last meeting of the year, in November 2013. Developing countries would favour early discussions on ToRs and methodology during the present session, a source told Intellectual Property Watch.The director general’s report states that the process of external review of the DA, “as foreseen under the Coordination Mechanism which will begin later this year and conclude in 2014.” The African Group, at the last session, said that “it was logical for preparatory work to begin in April 2013, in order for the decision to be implemented in the second half of 2013,” according to the report of the session.Delegates will also consider a document prepared by the WIPO secretariat on the international conference [pdf] on intellectual property and development agreed upon at the last session of the CDIP. Following four informal consultations conducted by CDIP chair, the title, objective, venue and themes of the conference have been confirmed by member states, according to the WIPO document.The title of the conference is “International Conference on Intellectual Property (IP) and Development.” It is expected to take place at WIPO, on 14-15 November 2013. Themes are foreseen to include economic development and the role of IP, cultural development and the role of IP, and IP for development: current challenges and future perspective.CDIP to Consider ProjectsSouth Korea has submitted a new project proposal on Intellectual Property (IP) and Design Creation for Business Development in Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). According to the document, the proposal “will cover the development of strategies and assistance for the whole process from application to registration. Such strategies can be a key factor in raising the capacity to protect and manage design rights, while raising public awareness of the issue.”Also on the agenda of this session are some projects such as three country studies on intellectual property and socio-economic development, one on Chile, one on Brazil, and one with a particular focus on the potential impact of intellectual property rights on the forestry chain in Uruguay.To be discussed as well in this session is a feasibility assessment on possible new WIPO activities related to using copyright to promote access to information and creative content. This follows a study presented to the CDIP at its ninth session in May 2012, and discussed in the tenth session in November 2012. 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 Committee On Development This Week: North-South Differences" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.