[AfrICANN-discuss] WIPO Development Agenda Implementation: The Ongoing Fight For Development In IP

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed May 9 16:38:28 SAST 2012

 WIPO Development Agenda Implementation: The Ongoing Fight For Development

Published on 9 May 2012 @ 8:23 am

 By William New <http://www.ip-watch.org/author/william/>, Intellectual
Property Watch

As World Intellectual Property Organization members engage this week in
discussions about the extent of change to the UN agency’s development
orientation, a new substantive proposal for reform has been put forward
based on an external review of WIPO technical assistance.

The Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is meeting
from 7-11 May <http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=25013>.
The committee exists to implement the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda.

In general, it could be said that developing countries, which initiated the
movement that led to the Development Agenda, are working to enact a
substantive transformation at the organisation, while developed countries
are eager to make improvements without drastically altering the agency.

The work in the CDIP addresses a full range of WIPO activities. With a wide
range of reports and activities being carried out, a wide range of WIPO
professional staff and consultants are cycling through the committee.
Projects range from databases, to competition policy, to flexibilities in
IP law, to the public domain. Technical assistance is only one aspect, but
it reaches into the core of the organisation’s orientation.

The breadth of issues was reflected in opening statements, such as by Iran
on behalf of the Asian Group, available

On the first day, an attempt was made again by developing countries to
create a permanent agenda item on “IP and development,” which developed
countries again resisted on the grounds that it is repetitive with the
title of the committee itself. But developing countries’ concern is that
broader issues of IP and development do not have a place in a committee
that spends most of its time working through specific projects. They have
raised this issue for several years.

The first day also saw a discussion of the relation of the CIP to other
committees and activities within WIPO, which raises recurrent issues of how
far-reaching the committee’s work is.

The remainder of the week will focus on the WIPO secretariat’s extensive
report on the implementation of the Development Agenda, and numerous
project reports as well as evaluations of past projects. There are now some
23 projects completed or in the process of being completed, according to
the secretariat.

The timetable for the week (as of 8 May) is available

Deere/Roca Report

A key element of the week’s agenda is to address an external review of WIPO
technical assistance called for by member states and co-authored by Carolyn
Deere and Santiago Roca. The report found numerous areas for improvement
for member states to consider.

Yesterday, the entire day was spent discussing the report, but no decisions
were made on how to proceed. The chair is expected to draft a summary of
this and other activities by week’s end.

The day opened with a presentation to the plenary by Deere, who outlined a
number of key recommendations from the report. These fell into the areas of
transparency and mutual accountability, management and strategic planning,
effectiveness and impact, good governance, and orientation.

Deere, who is a senior researcher in the Global Economic Governance
Programme at Oxford University, told the plenary that the report research
was completed in August 2011. At the last CDIP in November 2011, the
committee set up an ad hoc working group to look at the report and among
other things identify where there might be redundancy in the report
recommendations and help prepare for a committee decision on how to proceed
(*IPW*, WIPO, 18 November

Also at the last CDIP meeting, the WIPO secretariat was asked to respond to
the Deere/Roca report. The WIPO management response was completed in March
and reflects a number of improvements, including many in the past few
months, leading to a debate over which Deere/Roca recommendations had
already been addressed or whether and how the WIPO secretariat’s claims
need to be confirmed.

The secretariat clustered the Deere/Roca recommendations into three
categories. Cluster A are those which are “already reflected in WIPO
activities, or ongoing reform programs.” Cluster B is made up of those
which “merit further consideration.” And Cluster C represents those which
“raise concerns as to implementation.”

The management response is

Some developing country members said that some recommendations listed as
completed in Cluster A may need to be confirmed. Co-author Deere took a
similar view on this, suggesting the regularisation of a monitoring
mechanism would be helpful. Concern was also raised on the criteria used to
place recommendations into Cluster C.

The Group B developed countries generally accepted the secretariat response
and moved right into discussing items in Cluster B. But Group B appears to
be looking to slow down the work of the committee.

The *ad hoc* working group only began meeting in March, and was crippled in
part by a lack of translation services. After a series of five meetings
ending two weeks ago, the group could not reach agreement and left off its

The minutes of the *ad hoc* group meetings are
and the report of the group is

New DAG/African Group Proposal

The African Group and the Development Agenda Group (which includes
countries from other regions) issued a large, new proposal today on ways to
take forward the Deere/Roca report. The new document includes a variety of
specific proposals “aimed at improving WIPO’s development cooperation

The DAG/African joint proposal is available

Under “relevance and orientation,” the groups proposed experts to develop
guidelines with details on how to plan and implement more
development-oriented assistance. They also call for the secretariat to
develop a comprehensive manual on delivery of technical assistance.

The 17-page document also includes proposals for the WIPO program and
budget, including moving “funds-in-trust” – targeted funding from
governments intended for specific activities – into the regular WIPO
budget, programming and reporting processes.

Other proposals lay out steps for addressing: extra-budgetary resources;
human resources; expert/consultants; transparency and communication;
redesigning the technical assistance database; assessing impact, monitoring
and evaluation; IP policies and strategies in countries; provision of
legislative and regulatory assistance; IP office modernization, training
and capacity building; coordination; and follow-up.

The joint proposal also includes a 25-point appendix of guidance for WIPO,
such as ensuring development cooperation assistance is more than just
responding to requests, but also a dialogue with appropriate assistance.

A presentation on the new set of proposals was made by Algeria on behalf of
the DAG, but it could not be agreed by the committee how to proceed on it.
Developed countries suggested they would need time to review the proposal.

Protection and Development

The WIPO Development Agenda’s 45 recommendations reach well beyond
technical assistance and development cooperation, but there continues to be
disagreement on how far they should go in the organisation’s activities.
Last week, for instance, there was disagreement over whether it relates to
the WIPO Committee on Standards.

The discussion is reaching into the original purpose of the organisation,
as the United States and Japan today raised Article 3 of the original WIPO
Convention, noting that it does not mention development but does emphasise
IP protection. The United States said a shift from an “IP-centric” to
development-oriented WIPO would contravene Article 3.

Article 3 states<http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/convention/trtdocs_wo029.html#P68_3059>:

*The objectives of the Organization are:*

(i) to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world
through cooperation among States and, where appropriate, in collaboration
with any other international organization,

(ii) to ensure administrative cooperation among the Unions.
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