WIPO Members Get Stopgap Deal On IP And Development, Others Down To The Wire 02/10/2013 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments 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)The membership of the UN World Intellectual Property Organization in its annual General Assembly have spent most of the last few days in informal small groups behind closed doors, trying to reach agreements on issues that seem simple but for them, go to the heart of the organisation’s functioning. These include issues such as the overall program and budget for the next biennium (2014/2015), whether the WIPO secretariat is artificially inflating the numbers it claims to be spending on development, governance at WIPO, coordination of the WIPO Committee on IP and Development (CDIP), and whether certain committees such as one on WIPO standards should be beholden to the CDIP. Other issues under informal discussion and still to be resolved today include the mandate of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) – which was said to be near completion last night, the proposed Design Law Treaty negotiation next year, the budgeting of diplomatic conferences for negotiating treaties in the next biennium, whether the Global Challenges Division should be accountable to a committee, and who, if anyone, will get new WIPO external offices in their countries/regions (perhaps the most discussed issue of the Assemblies). Late last night, members returned to plenary briefly and managed to approve language related to expenditures on development and on implementation of the CDIP mandate, which arose from the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda. But the approved language essentially just sends the issues back to members for more discussion and to report again at next year’s General Assembly. The Development Agenda, agreed by all members, was intended by its proponents to transform all aspects of the IP rights organisation to make it more development-oriented. The vast majority of IPRs are in the most-developed countries. The development expenditure (Agenda item 18) document is here [pdf]. The CDIP (Agenda item 32) document is here [pdf]. Committee on WIPO Standards Meanwhile, members could not agree last night on draft language on governance nor on the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS). Both were sent back to informal discussions this morning. The CWS (Agenda item 36.3) draft language is here [pdf]. From member state comments, it appears the sides were still far apart on both issues. Developing countries want the CWS to report to the CDIP on its development orientation, and developed countries have continued to resist. The chair of the informal sessions said that only the coordination mechanism was discussed so far, not procedural matters nor the proposal by developing countries for a standing agenda item on IP and development. The issue is expected to come back to the plenary before the end of the Assembly. Today is the last scheduled day of the Assembly. Governance A similar fate met an effort by developing countries to break a stalemate on governance at WIPO. A proposal from the African Group was circulated and was put forward as the basis upon which the discussions should proceed. The African Group proposal on governance is here [pdf]. They said the governance issue has been on the WIPO Program and Budget Committee agenda since 2011 and has been discussed in every session since then until the last PBC in September decided to send it to the General Assembly for decision. The African Group proposes that the WIPO secretariat organise a two-day meeting to discuss a recent UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) report that made many suggestions for improvements at WIPO. But Belgium, which is chairing the Group B developed countries, said that this issue is “at the heart” of activities at WIPO, and that the African Group proposal “contains elements that have been debated over and over to no avail.” He noted a proposal on a process for selecting chairs at WIPO. Belgium noted that a second JIU report is coming out next year and suggested that this might wait till then. Members might continue informal discussions over the next year and then discuss it at the PBC meeting in September 2014, just before the next Assemblies, a source said. The General Assembly chair sent the issue back to consultations to come up again in plenary before the end of the Assemblies. Coordination Committee Members Meanwhile, new members of the powerful Coordination Committee, the member states’ executive body, were named this week. This committee will play the key role in the election of the next WIPO director general in 2014. The 83 new members are listed here [pdf]. 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 William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."WIPO Members Get Stopgap Deal On IP And Development, Others Down To The Wire" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.