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Development Issues Take Center Stage at WIPO After CPID Session

Source: Grill IP patent news

wipo-development-ip-sessionFrom October 31st to November 4th, the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CPID) had its 18th session. At the gathering, the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on development settled on a work program, agreeing to continue a dialogue on issues of importance to developing countries. These issues center on three operations:

  1. How WIPO enacts the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  2. How WIPO implements development priorities throughout its work
  3. How WIPO provides technical assistance to these countries

The CPID session involved the committee’s study of a report containing recommendations from an Independent Review of the Development Agenda Recommendations. This report spelled out a solution to enhance WIPO’s delivery of technical support to development countries beyond a 2011 External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development. WIPO is expected to release a report on the independent review’s recommendations, and upon completion of the external review, begin providing technical assistance to developing regions according to six-point proposals submitted by Spain.

    Additionally, various technical assistance projects were examined. The first, a joint proposal from Canada, Australia, and the US, focuses on follow-up actions to be taken regarding the CPID project “Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer: Common Challenges – Building Solutions.” The joint proposal was agreed upon by the CPID in all respects save one item out of six. The agreed upon points include:

    Item 1: WIPO’s review and update of its technology transfer webpage

    Item 2: WIPO’s provision of a roadmap on how it will continue to promote awareness

    Item 3: WIPO’s continued involvement in international conferences on tech transfer

    Item 4: WIPO’s promotion of the web forum created under the project on IP and tech transfer

    Item 6: The submission of proposals by member states based on practical projects producing tangible outcomes

    There was contestation over Item 5, which stipulated that WIPO look into adopting a market-based approach to facilitate commercialization and innovation by allowing public sector patent owners to indicate their licensing intent and foster tech expansion within a single platform. This item has been tabled until CPID’s next session due to reservations from a number of countries over the “market-based”.

    South Africa brought forward another proposal on “Intellectual Property Management and Transfer of Technology: Promoting the Effective Use of Intellectual Property in Developing Countries.” This project will continue into CPID’s next session, following the WIPO secretariat’s delivery of the updated project with modifications by South Africa.

    Two development concerns have plagued CPID for several years. To start, developing countries have issued a request that CPID’s agenda contain a standing item on IP and development. This has gone unresolved, and remains a contested issue in the Committee, with opposition from many developed countries. The second issue centers on demands for every WIPO committee to report to the General Assembly on their development work. Currently, the committees that have not met this standard are the Program and Budget Committee and the Committee on WIPO Standards. Akin to the first issue, this request has been met with resistance from developed member states. Discussion of these bids has been postponed to the next CPID session.

    On November 4th, the committee decided on a list of future issues to be addressed. This list includes the African Group’s proposal to hold a conference on IP and development on a biennial basis and Brazil’s call for the addition of a permanent Committee agenda item that focuses on WIPOs relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The CPID has requested that WIPO provide annual reports on the progress it’s made on the SDGs and the dissemination of the information in WIPO’s database of flexibilities. This database contains patent-related flexibilities of the WTO agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    To conclude, WIPO anticipates submitting an evaluation report of the Pilot Program on Intellectual Property and Design Management for Business Development in Developing and Least-Developed Countries at the Committee’s next session.

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