WIPO Delegates Agree On Budget For 2 Years; US Still Vigilant On GI Treaty 11/10/2017 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)On the last day of the annual World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly, delegates today found a way to agree on the issues blocking the adoption of the 2018/2019 budget. In particular delegates found a way to address requests made by the United States on the program and budget, notably on the financing of the WIPO agreement protecting geographical indications. The decision [pdf] approving the program and budget was adopted this evening, on the last day of the WIPO General Assembly which is taking place from 2-11 October. A cultural event entitled “Follow Georgia” featuring an exhibition in the WIPO lobby of work by contemporary Georgian artist Ms. Tamara Kvesitadze The United States had posed three conditions for their approval of the budget: that the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin addresses its project deficit (around CHF1.5 million in 2016/2017 biennium); that work continues on the allocation methodology of the budget by union; and that consensus of the whole WIPO membership should be reached before provisions can be made for high-level negotiating meetings (diplomatic conferences) in the budget (IPW, WIPO, 5 October 2017). The US also had issues with the financing of the WIPO Capital Master Plan – a set-aside budget for building matters – with what they estimated was too much reliance on the revenues of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. A discussion paper [pdf] tabled by the US for the PBC meeting in September suggested a proportional allocation which would reduce the PCT Union’s share of the Capital Master Plan from CHF 18.2 million to CHF 15.9 million. The planned provision for the Capital Master Plan for the 2018/2019 biennium is CHF 25.5 million. US Satisfied but Lisbon Still Under Watch The agreed decision on the Program and Budget 2018/2019 states that any fee-financed union, such as Lisbon, with a projected biennial deficit in the 2018/2019 biennium should address that deficit. It further says that if any union in any given biennium does not have sufficient revenue and reserves to cover its projected expenses, the amount required to fund the union’s operation is provided from the net assets of the organisation, and is to be repaid when the reserves of the union allow it. In the case where any fee-financed union does not have sufficient revenue during the 2018/2019 biennium to cover its expenses, the required amount shall be provided from the reserves of the contribution-financed unions, and if not sufficient, from the reserves of the other fee-financed unions. The six WIPO contribution-financed unions are : the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the International Patent Classification, the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, and Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks. WIPO also administers four fee-financed unions: the PCT, Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system), the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague system), and the Lisbon system. In compliance with the US request, discussions are set to continue on the allocation methodology for income and expenditure by union in future sessions of the PBC. On diplomatic conferences, the decision states that all diplomatic conferences contemplated in the 2018/2019 biennium and funded by WIPO will be open to the full participation of all WIPO member states “in accordance with the Recommendations of the Development Agenda.” On the WIPO Capital Master Plan 2018-2027 [pdf], which serves for the general maintenance of the organisation, such as security, building renovation, repairs, and IT services, delegates agreed to earmark CHF1.1 million from the 2014/2015 biennial surplus of the Madrid Union (governing the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks) for the 2018/2019 Capital Master Plan cross-cutting projects that benefit all unions. The US has expressed concern since the 2015 adoption of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, benefiting a subset of the WIPO membership, and approved by 28 WIPO members. It argued that the Lisbon system has a chronic deficit, and that the Patent Cooperation Union is financing over 75 percent of WIPO’s budget, and should not be called to pay the Lisbon system deficit without the PCT members agreeing on it. Prior to the adoption of the program and budget today, the US said it reserves its legal position regarding the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. Approving the budget does not mean that the US consents on the question of the WIPO administration of the Geneva Act. The US has been challenging WIPO’s administration of the Geneva Act. It considers the Geneva Act not as an Act to the Lisbon Agreement, but as a separate treaty. And, it argues, the required request to WIPO for administration as a treaty has not been made. Image Credits: Copyright: WIPO. Photo: Violaine Martin. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO License. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org."WIPO Delegates Agree On Budget For 2 Years; US Still Vigilant On GI Treaty" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.