Franklin Pierce Law Center Concord, April 11, 2008. IP Owners at WIPO – Current Situation and Trends WIPO Secretariat. 1. The Agenda for Development. Argentina and Brazil proposed to WIPO General Assembly of 2004 the establishment of a “Development Agenda for WIPO” (WO/GA/31/11 1 )
Franklin Pierce Law CenterConcord, April 11, 2008
IP Owners at WIPO – Current Situation and Trends
1. The Agenda for Development
Argentina and Brazil proposed to WIPO General Assembly of 2004 the establishment of a “Development Agenda for WIPO” (WO/GA/31/111)
1 This proposal was later expanded (document IIM/1/4, of April 6, 2005, submitted by a group of 14 countries self-designated as “Group of Friends of Development”: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Kenia, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Venezuela.
The basic proposal was: “to integrate the ‘development dimension’ into policy making on intellectual property protection”
This basic proposal was developed around four major clusters
1st cluster: The development dimension and intellectual property norm-setting: safeguarding public interest flexibilities
2nd cluster: The development dimension and the transfer of technology
3rd cluster: The development dimension and intellectual property enforcement
4th cluster: Promoting ‘development oriented’ technical cooperation and assistance
In a nutshell, the main objective of the proposed “Agenda for Development” was to impregnate all other WIPO negotiating processes (namely, the SCP, the IGC and the SCR)
Discussions were first held in the IIM (Inter-sessional Intergovernmental Meeting), which had three sessions in 2005
The IIM discussed proposals submitted by: the Group of 14, the United States (on the establishment of a partnership program – an Internet-based tool), Mexico (insertion of IP in a program of good governance), the United Kingdom (to rejuvenate the PCIPD), Bahrain (leading a group of 14 Arab countries) (a very broad proposal on the role of WIPO in setting a new economic vision, on the establishment of a voluntary fund for training and with recommendations addressed to other Member States)
The 2005 WIPO General Assembly decided:
1. To establish a “Provisional Committee on proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda” (PCDA) which should complete the discussions initiated in the IIM and report to the General Assembly, in 2006
2. To discontinue the PCIPD.
1st session of the PCDA – February of 2006
The PCDA discussed proposals submitted by Morocco on behalf of the African Group (a very broad proposal), by Chile (a proposal with suggestions of some concrete studies), by Colombia (on the establishment of databases for patent searches), by the US (on the partnership), and by the Group of 14 (suggesting a list of concrete outcomes for the PCDA).
2nd session of the PCDA – June of 2006
Discussion on 111 proposals (the “Manalo document”), which were arranged under 6 clusters
The group of 14 submitted a proposal of a final resolution but it was rejected
The group of central Asian countries, led by Kyrgysztan, submitted a proposal on a consensual agenda of discussions, but it was also rejected
The 2006 WIPO General Assembly decided that the PCDA would continue its work, by discussing the 111 proposals: 40 were consensual; 70 had still to be analyzed
In the 2 sessions of the PCDA in 2007, the 111 proposals were streamlined to 45 recommendations (19 of which for immediate implementation), and organized under 6 clusters:
(a) Technical assistance and capacity building (14);
(b) Norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain (9);
(c) Technology transfer, information and communication technologies (ICT) and access to knowledge (9);
(d) Assessment, evaluation and impact studies (6);
(e) Institutional matters including mandate and governance (6);
(f) other issues (enforcement) (1).
The 2007 WIPO General Assembly established a new permanent body – the Commitee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP)
The CDIP had its first session in February 2008; five recommendations of Cluster A were discussed. Now, the Chair is holding informal consultations to examine how the work should move forward.
2. The main hurdles of the “Agenda for Development” and the foreseeable future*
*Word of caution: If I could foresee the future I would win the lottery every week
. It was proposed by countries that do not use technology related-IP intensively
. It was proposed by IP policy takers, not by IP policy makers
. It was proposed by countries that, in 1994, exchanged IP-related concessions for trade-related concessions (IP as a tool for primarily obtaining market access)
. Therefore, without the active engagement of developed countries in matters of substance, the Agenda for Development lacks content
The foreseeable future:
. Negotiating processes in WIPO will wait for developments in the CDIP, while the CDIP devotes most of its attention to matters other than norm-setting
. In the meantime, bilateral processes will continue; at some point, in the context of the CDIP, a number of developing countries could eventually seek a moratorium in those bilateral processes but that would be seen as an interference in the rights of sovereign countries
. Sometime in the future, negotiations will be held in another multilateral forum, as it happened in 1986
* Those negotiations will naturally be built upon the outcomes of those bilateral processes.
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