June 26, 2006 | By Gwen Hinze

Blogging WIPO: Development Agenda Talks Edge Forward

This week WIPO is holding the final round of talks on establishing a WIPO Development Agenda. The WIPO Development Agenda offers the possibility of creating global intellectual property laws that balance rightsholders' interests with the human rights of the world's citizens for access to medicine and knowledge. The scope of proposals on the table is truly amazing. WIPO is being asked to create ways to protect the Public Domain and to rebalance its technical assistance to developing countries. But so far, the talks have been marred by procedural stalling and little agreement on specifics. Now it's crunch time. In the next five short days, WIPO member states have to come up with concrete recommendations for the September WIPO General Assembly.

The last meeting ended with a list of 111 proposals grouped into six thematic clusters. As expected, much of today's meeting was taken up with procedural wrangling on how to progress discussions. The Chair suggested grouping the proposals into three "baskets": those which had consensus, those which didn't, and those where consensus was emerging. This would have given developed countries a veto right, making it easier to eliminate proposals that didn't have universal approval. Not surprisingly, the 15 countries in the Group of Friends of Development rejected that approach.

Last Friday the Group of Friends of Development presented their own proposal: a list of 21 carefully framed recommendations picking up key elements from their own and others' proposals. But it was treated as a new document submitted past the deadline, and rejected as the basis for this week's discussions. Mexico attempted, unsuccessfully, to stop Brazil discussing it. France recorded a formal objection.

Discussions on the clusters in the original list finally started in the afternoon. The Chair got his wish: the U.S., Italy and France all helpfully identified the proposals that they would and would not support. Mexico followed suit, rejecting discussion of Chile's proposal on free and open source software and creative commons licenses. India spoke of the benefits already provided by free and open source software and suggested that WIPO should be involved in promoting open standards. Japan objected to protection of the Public Domain. Brazil noted that WIPO did not have the expertise or mandate to provide a guidebook on "best practices for economic growth" requested by the U.S. China joined with Brazil in noting that counterfeiting and piracy were global issues, not uniquely related to development.

So many yellow cards, and no score yet, but stay tuned. The NGO coalition's notes of day one are after the jump.

Provisional Committee on Proposals to Establish a WIPO Development Agenda, Session 2

Day 1, June 26, 2006

Notes taken by:

Teresa Hackett, teresa dot hackett at eifl dot net, Electronic
Information for Libraries [TH]

Gwen Hinze, gwen at eff dot org, Electronic Frontier Foundation [GH]

[NOTE: This is not an official transcript. It's our best effort at
providing a faithful set of notes of the proceedings. Any errors and
omissions are unintentional and regretted.]

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-=-=-=-=-

10:35 am meeting started.

Chair:

I have had consultations with Regional Group co-ordinators since our last meeting, about the list of proposals that was generated [last meeting] and how to proceed. I met with regional co-ordinators last Friday and proposed a way to proceed. These discussions will be with the regional co-ordinators, but any member state that wishes to participate may do so.

[GH ed note: we understand that the Chair suggested that the 111 proposals, currently grouped into six clusters, be put into three "baskets": those on which there was consensus, those on which there was emerging consensus and those on which there was no consensus. It would give a veto right to developed countries over proposals put forward by countries of the South on which there was considerable, but not unanimous, agreement. This would also obviously make it easier to eliminate proposals that were not universally adopted. ]

Chair: I also note that the GFOD have recently put forward a document with a proposal on a way to proceed.

I hope that we can continue to work constructively with a spirit of flexibility. I would ask member states to be brief and specific in their comments.

Three NGOs have requested accreditation:

Federalist Society, Washington DC, USA
Creative and Innovative Economy Center, George Washington University, USA
Queen Mary Institute for Intellectual Property, London, UK.

No objection, accreditation granted.

Agenda adopted.

Report of last meeting: asked delegates to submit comments to WIPO Secretariat. Unless objections, report is now adopted.

Will now suspend meeting for half an hour, to meet with Regional Co-ordinators, who I met with already last Friday, and other interested countries, to discuss procedural matters.

10:50 am meeting adjourned.

[GH: The plenary session did not resume. The whole morning was spent in non-public discussions between the Chair and the regional co-ordinators on the Chair's proposal to separate the existing 111 proposals into three "baskets". This was not acceptable to the GFOD, which did not want to exclude any proposal on the table. One alternative proposal floated was to group proposals in three different baskets: short term, medium term and long term work program items.]

Lunch break

3:20 pm meeting resumed

Chair: The proposal submitted by the chair did not lead to consensus. We have now been able to achieve an agreement for our discussions as to procedure so that we move into substance as soon as possible.

The African Group came up with a proposal this morning. It deals with taking the different clusters jointly.

We also suggested that the delegations that so wished, could submit draft consensus proposals. The Chair has some idea of these but does not want to prejudge anything.

It's very important that we discuss the proposals in the different clusters and that we finish this by Wednesday at the latest, leaving Thursday and Friday to see what we can see with the drafts and with what we have to recommend for the GA.

If we leave everything to the last minute, we think we might be missing time. This will compel the delegations to be quite brief and specific in their statements.
We have interpretation only until 17.45 today when we have to conclude our discussions.

I am now seeking view of delegations on this.

Mexico:

I don't really understand the proposal that you have put forward. What is the document which will be the basis of your discussion, the annex to PCDA/1/6 [the PCDA first meeting report] or PCDA/2/2 [the new GFoD suggested GA recommendations], and what have you agreed to in the informal sessions [between our last meeting and now]?

Will discussion be by clusters, or proposal by proposal? We think that discussion by cluster would be disadvantageous and may leave out important points. We would want to discuss all of the proposals under each chapeau.

Chair: Thank you for your question on the informal session that was open to all. I repeat that the only document which can be a basis for discussion is the PCDA/1/6 Annex where we have all the different proposals [i.e. the list of 111 proposals].

It was not possible to find agreement to discuss items proposal by proposal. You will be able to identify your concerns when the cluster is being discussed.

Are there any other comments? No? Therefore, I propose that we begin our discussion. I see Switzerland, you have the floor.

Switzerland: As the coordinator of Group B, we are willing to work constructively as you have proposed this afternoon, but it would be useful to be able to give priority to some of the topics during this week.

We do have some doubts and fears that we could discuss specific recommendations for the General Assembly [GA], but we have agreed as a Group to work together constructively.

Are we going to work in formal or informal mode? Perhaps it's more useful to work in informal mode this afternoon.

Chair: thank you for the openness and flexibility of Group B. I think it would be appropriate and constructive to work together today in an informal mode, but this is a decision that the Committee must make.

Do you agree to work in an informal mode? Do you agree? I don't see anyone opposed to this, so I agree. I didn't see Brazil.

Brazil: I wasn't clear about the question. Are we going to proceed in a formal manner as you started with, or informally -- a change in the proceeding?

Chair: That's the question I asked you. The delegation of Switzerland proposed to have an informal meeting but if you wish, this meeting will continue as a formal meeting. If we all agree it can move into an informal meeting, but if not, we will continue in a formal mode.

Brazil: We are not opposed to a formal session. The advantage is that our interventions are recorded in the minutes; this is especially useful for people in our capitals who are not able to be present.

We think it is useful that a record be kept of countries' positions, to which we can refer later. A number of observers always take part in these meetings, and can comment, usually later, and so useful for us to proceed in a formal mode.

Chair: In that case we continue in a formal session as we began. The first cluster has 32 proposals.

[GH: Cluster A is entitled Technical Assistance and Capacity Building]

Chair: This is one of the crucial topics for development, but not the only one. Will give the floor to one or more of the various proposals included in topic one.

Brazil: My delegation would like to refer to the proposals in document PCDA/2/2 and to indicate that we have suggestions for recommendations regarding the different points included under this section on technical assistance that is in the cluster we are considering right now.

For example, paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6 of our document refer to the topic in cluster one.

Chair: Sorry Brazil - Mexico has asked for the floor.

Mexico: on a point of order,

My delegation didn't understand the status of this document PCDA/2/2. We read it just today. It contains interesting proposals and we would like to pass it to our capitals.

We want to ask what is the status of this document? If the delegation of Brazil would like to refer to this document, this is fine, but we understood the working document which is the basis of our discussion is the Annex to PCDA/1/6.

Chair: If they wish to refer to it, they may do so, but we are not compelled to respond or react to their comments on it.

Brazil: The document which we submitted is an official document of the meeting and contains our proposals for recommendations to the GA.

For the delegation of Mexico, we can clarify that we, the GFOD, has synthesized the proposals and put it in the language of recommendations to the GA. We could reference every one of our group's proposals in the list of 32, but we'd make no headway here - each group would just comment on each of their proposals, but we make no progress. Our proposal tried to move this discussion forward.

Chair: Thank you for the effort by the GFOD in making this document. The deadline for submission of proposals has already passed.

The delegations may no doubt submit their proposals and make their observations as they wish, but that doesn't compel anyone to have to refer to this. Does anyone have comments on cluster A?

Mexico: My delegation has more questions than proposals.

I would like to thank the delegation of Brazil for their efforts at attempting to summarize the proposals. On document PCDA/1/6, on proposal 2 of topic one,
my delegation has difficulty because it talks about national IP offices becoming more efficient.

Would make WIPO Secretariat have a monitoring or oversight role over national IP offices. We don't understand this. Does this reference to regional impact, mean that we can only make requests for technical assistance through these organizations, and not, for instance, at the national level?

On proposal 5. to establish a trust fund for assistance of LDCs [Least Developed Countries] to attend WIPO, we ask where are the funds going to come from, which bank will establish the fund, in other words, we need details from the country that proposed this.

On 19 neutral technical assistance. How can TA be other than neutral if it is requested by the member state?

On 25, provide technical co-operation to DCs - to amongst other things, deal with competition policies. Not within WIPO's competence, and not within WIPO's mandate - instead, is within WTO not WIPO.

On 29, we find it difficult to understand the scope. We are being asked to turn WIPO into a supervisory body over national member states; WIPO is being asked to monitor how far national resources are being used and asking it to intervene in affairs of national states.

Referring to documents PCDA/2/2, paragraph 3(a) Requests for technical assistance that is neutral - these requests are technical and individual in nature, so don't understand where or why "neutrality" comes into this.

For paragraph 3(h), How do we guarantee transparency? We would ask the GFOD to explain this.

Re paragraph 4(f) how can WIPO determine what the social costs are of IP protection in every member state?

Paragraph 6, what would be the model, what would be the outline, where is the money coming from?

I don't know where this summary of the GFOD document leaves us, but I will reserve the right to make other comments on parts of this document in places as we come to discuss them.

Chair: is there another delegation that wishes to refer to this cluster of proposals?

Chile: all proposals in PCDA/1/6 seem acceptable to us.
A good alternative would be to start working on a text. We therefore need to look at the recommendations when we look at the clusters.

On GFOD proposal, we believe in 3 and 4, that that this is a good summary of all the proposals put forward by the delegations.

We would like to highlight the issue of competition policy which falls within the remit of WIPO, as well as WTO.

It's particularly relevant to work at WIPO - to all areas of work of WIPO. Important to GFOD proposal. We've discussed this with WIPO officials before. They have agreed with us. We think that WIPO could do a great deal more than it has been up to now on this. It's particularly important to DCs, who don't have strong policies and practices in this area, generally speaking. On the question of language, we do have comments on paragraphs 3 and 4 and expression there.

Nigeria:
Thank you to the Chair for wisdom and capacity in devising methodology for moving forward,

I thank Mexico for seeking clarification on the status of the proposals.

He has alluded to 2 or 3 proposals that have been put forward by the AG and I'd be happy to elaborate, especially on 2, 5 and 10.

Since the PCDA, we have received sufficient evidence to satisfy us that the technical assistance is demand driven, and development-oriented, and want to put that on record.

No. 2 we need to improve the capacity of national IP offices i.e. to equip them to be able to translate international obligations into national laws.

Also to meet the requirements for training to help national institutions to be more efficient.

IP should not transgress unduly on public policies on access to health, knowledge.

We think that any benefits extended at national level, should also apply to regional organizations like IAPI and OAPI, which provide much of the tech assistance.

Number 5 to establish a trust fund within WIPO. It need not necessarily be financial, it could be specific assistance.

Now the trust fund is only something that the member states could agree on here. Happy to note that voluntary trust fund was established in the IGC context.

Number 10 to establish a voluntary contribution fund, I?m not sure if this is an AG proposal but is in line with paragraph 5.

These should not result in hairsplitting and we hope this goes some way in explaining our position.

South Africa: Want to add something to what the Coordinator of AG said, the proposal to extend TA to regional organizations was devised because some countries don't have national IP offices so they rely on sub-regional organisations. Hence this proposal.

Chile: I apologize for taking floor again, but at TRIPS council a week ago, some countries with vulnerable economies put forward a proposal for work through regional organizations, which was accepted.

United States: We support the statement by Switzerland on behalf of Group B.

On cluster A on TA, we have studied very carefully the 32 proposals put forward in this cluster.

We are in a position to support the majority of these proposals as follows:

1-12, 14, 17, 22-25, and for 21, we support the principle so long as the proposal applies to all WIPO staff not just those involved in TA ad so long as in line with UN best practices.

With regard to the other proposals under this cluster, we are not in a position to join in a consensus at this time.

Would be glad to elucidate our concerns at a later, more appropriate time.

Chair: I see that the US came prepared to work with the Chair's proposal [i.e. the three basket approach].

We will take a brief break, about 15 minutes, to help us get on the same wavelength

I understand that you have not had much time to prepare for a discussion on the issues, so we'll have 15 minutes to prepare ourselves to continue the discussion on cluster number one.

Meeting breaks 16.10

---

16:35

Chair: I'm going to give the floor to delegates to talk about cluster one. Or if not, I'll move on to the second cluster. I see Brazil would like the floor.

Brazil:

I want to elucidate the development of PCDA/2/2. It was not merely a synthesis of the proposals put forward by the GFOD. There was also an effort to put forward some of the essence of the other proposals. There were some sacrifices also - we did not include all of the GFOD proposals.

For instance, point [] comes from the Africa Group proposal. Also, the reference to competition policy, which Chile thought was interesting, and also found in several documents of the Secretariat. I think we all agree that competition policy is an important framework to consider IP issues.

Issue in (e) of technical assistance, very important. Likewise the proposal for ongoing independent evaluations.

Likewise the issue of transparency, and the question of costs, all very important.

The points in point 4 - are the means to achieve transparency. That the development of technical capacity to fully use in-built flexibilities. This is something that has been mentioned by the Africa Group proposal. There are obligations of all sorts in the treaties. There are also policy objectives, and policy room in current treaty for countries to implement these objectives. There's no reason why technical capacity building could not cover both.

Paragraph (d) addresses some things that are in harmony with paragraph 2 of the African Group proposal.

Paragraph 6 - The issue of funds is important and has been referred to by a number of delegations.

Mentioned by both the African Group proposal and that put forward by Bahrain. The US proposal discusses question of resources and how they might be extended and compatible with WTO cooperation programme.

In 6, we tried to use general, all-inclusive language e.g. the objective of these financial mechanisms, namely the matchmaking fund mentioned in the US proposal and others.

Finally, in my previous comments, we have para 10, which refers to point 21 of the list of PCDA/1/6; we are trying to achieve the language that will reach synthesis.

From this, we can hopefully build a more wide-ranging document from the list of 111 proposals, for which there is support, by using this is a base.

Chair: I refer to the distinguished delegation of Italy.

Italy:

Our suggestion would be that we prepare a document that would bring together all points that are similar. There are many points in the list of 111 that are very similar - 20 and 31 for instance. If we could group them together, this would make the discussion much easier.

Italy has some doubts with paragraphs 2, 3, 20, 26-32.On these paragraphs we seek clarification from the countries that put forward those proposals. We think it would be useful to have a more detailed discussion when we come to these proposals, but we wanted to flag for now that we have some reservations.

Japan: TA and capacity building provide dev nations with the foundation for achieving economic development.

Most of the things in these clusters are activities or activities carried out by WIPO; therefore we are in line with such proposals. These technical assistance activities should be carried out on a demand driven basis and not a one size fits all manner. There is a budgetary constraint on WIPO resources, so we think that this should be taken into account.

Benin: We support the statement of Nigeria, as coordinator of the African Group. We particularly support the statement made on the establishment of a trust fund. This is a proposal that we wish to speak on later in the debate. We thank the USA for the flexibility with which it has entered this debate.

India: We would like to briefly comment on a few proposals.

Paragraph 8, we welcome proposal for WIPO to assist member states to set up national strategies in the field of IP. This assistance cannot be prescriptive in nature. Must serve to encourage debate within nation. Remains in scope of national legislature and structure to develop national IP strategy.

We support the proposal for technical capacity building. At the same time, we emphasize it is necessary to ensure that the objective of promoting an IP culture must promote the balance between IP owners and the public interest.

We think that the question of access to technical databases falls within this category. We think that the objective should be building technical capacity of DC to compete in global knowledge economy.

France: We would like to formally note an objection to document PCDA/2/2, which has only been made available very late in the day in some language formats.

On PCDA/1/6, some proposals seem likely to allow us to reach consensus in a short time. These are numbers:
1,5,6,8,11,13-15,19,22,23,31

Want to put on record that some proposals are interesting and warrant further discussion. These are paragraph numbers:
2,3, 16 and 28

Hope that this will put the meeting in a position to produce recommendations to GA later this week.

Mexico: We agree with the African Group and are supportive of the AG co-ordinator's statement. Think that will allow us to go forward with discussion.

Chair:
If no other statements from member states, I suggest that we move on and listen to observations on cluster B on norm-setting, public policy and public domain.

I would like to thank those delegations that have expressed that they would be willing to discuss or possibly even accept some proposals listed under this cluster. I've had comments from Italy, the US and France on this. For delegations who have not commented, I would welcome comments on this and whether there are opposed to or in favor.

We are looking at the entire set of paragraphs falling within this cluster. I open the floor for any comments.

Brazil:

I shall continue with my "Portish", that is, a mixture of Spanish and Portugese.

Paragraphs 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13.

Paragraphs 14 and 16 also contain certain portions mentioned in the African Group proposal.

The question of norm-setting within WIPO is a core element of our proposal for a Development Agenda. We are working here with obligations negotiated within the organisation and will require implementation by member states. Documents IIM/1/4 and GA/31/11 and PCDA/1/5 all explain why norm setting is central. Technical cooperation of itself is not sufficient unless we take into account norm setting activities here, the different levels of development of different countries, and the very real situations that they have to cope with on the ground, their development goals and the objectives with which they have agreed, such as the Millennium Development Goals.

Paragraph 2.2.7 adoption of principles, page 4 PCDA2/2, subparagraph (b) - references differences in levels of development of countries. So too paragraph (c), the protection of the public domain, and also the question of exceptions and limitations, which are protected under existing treaties to which we are a party.

As in subparagraph (e), reflects the relationship between international treaties and human rights instruments.

Subpara (f) deals with the issue of national policy space.

Subpara (g) - I'm happy to see that this suggestion has been upheld in relation to public hearings in the SPLT. IP is too important to just have decisions made by a small elite, where access restricted.

(h) Issue of costs is very important for developing countries.

(I) We should include mechanisms to curb anti-competitive mechanisms, that is of top importance.

Paragraphs 8, 9, 11 and 13 each contains a synthesis of the WIPO DA proposals relating to norm-setting.

The GFOD has a difficulty in relation to paragraphs 5 and 6 of Cluster B.
Para 5 - The question of best practices for economic growth [GH: i.e. the US proposal] falls outside the competence of WIPO. There is no reason why WIPO should consider compiling such a guidebook.

Para 6 - The question of the adverse effects of counterfeiting and piracy - is not appropriate to the topic of a WIPO Development Agenda, and the topic has already been mentioned in the context of the Advisory Committee on Enforcement. Everyone knows our position on this. We don't think it is compatible with the broader objective of a development agenda for WIPO.

Mexico: Regarding the points under cluster B, we consider most acceptable for discussion.

But does have some problem understanding 3, 24, 25. Just wondering whether we aren't invading UNESCO's competence or that of UNCTAD. So we would like the countries that proposed them to explain this.

Regarding point 7, we don't understand the meaning of having access to the contents of the public domain. The public domain is accessible to all, so we don't understand the reference to "protection".

Paragraph 26, WIPO does not have competence on this point, dealing with TRIPS.

Austria: I congratulate you on the speed of the discussion and that you are already at cluster B. However I request your understanding that we wish to consider the response of Group B at a coordination meeting tomorrow morning.

Chair: It is my intention that we can return to some of the items discussed; that if a country wants to return to a point, we can show flexibility on this.

Colombia: On cluster B, we support the majority of the proposals in package B. We would like to comment on some proposals.

Regarding points 7 & 8 on the public domain, our delegation understands that we are trying to safeguard and preserve this pubic domain. If that is how it is interpreted, then we can support it.

Paragraph 9, we would like more analysis, so we have some reservations.

Paragraph 16, because of the intergovernmental nature of WIPO, we think that there is already space for this, so we don't understand this.

Para 22, we have concerns, we don't see how WIPO can handle topics which have no relation to IP. In that case, we are losing the nature and reason for the creation of this organization.

Re para 26, we have some doubts as well, but we are still studying the topic further for the time being.

South Africa:

Would like to make some observations on norm-setting. Agree with Brazil, that norm setting is at the core of our proposal.

Norm-setting that takes into account different levels of development are very important for intergovernmental decision-making.

We have observed a good example from Singapore.

India:

Cluster B is important part of DA debate. Want to address 2, 28.

Traditional knowledge needs to be protected under international instrument. Important issue for India and other DCs. Would like to see patent protection.

Para 2 is an important element of this. My colleague will now comment on para 27.

[Second delegate for India] Para 27 and para 22:

Open source software is using the IP system. Open source software has already provided a good benefit for technology transfer, for keeping customer not locked to a proprietary system. Something called open standards is something that WIPO needs to take up, in the area of telecommunications in particular. This is something that would support development.

China: Norm setting is one of the important missions of WIPO. We have to really remember the principle of these norm setting activities to realise the initial ideal. We have expressed our position concerning item 6 of this cluster. Counterfeiting and piracy is a global issue and is not isolated to development.

In addition, some countries and organizations have done some statistics on piracy, but whether the methods are accurate and appropriate are matters of great controversy. Therefore, the PCDA should focus on issues of importance to developing countries.

If we introduce controversial issues into the discussion, it will weaken our discussion of the main theme.

USA: [Paul Salmon]
As with the proposals under cluster A, we can support some of cluster B. As with others we support, we support them in being within core competencies of WIPO and already occurring, as Nigeria has noted.

In cluster B, we can concur with B5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, and 16 with the desire to maintain WIPO's core competencies and mandate and to avoid overlap with other organisations such as UNCTAD.

Our specific concerns with other proposals in Cluster B have been detailed in three IIMs and in first PCDA. We can elaborate on our specific objectives but we would not like to obstruct the proceedings and interfere with the quick timing of the proceedings as has been noted by other delegates.

Italy: We would like to reserve our position in light of the co-ordination meeting of the European Community, which will meet tomorrow, and which will be expressed tomorrow.

We would like to endorse the Community position which will be put forward tomorrow.

We note that point 2 is unacceptable and is contrary to international negotiating rules. WIPO already has an intergovernmental committee on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore protection. One of the things under discussion there is whether to adopt a binding legal instrument on this topic.

It is not possible that our committee discuss adoption of a binding instrument on a topic which is under discussion in the same house by a different committee.

Mexico: Do not agree that we can discuss the proposals in paragraphs 22 and 27 concerning free and open source software and creative commons licenses.
We don't think it's appropriate to express government support for these vehicles. This should be a matter for the market to decide, not the government.

Japan: Academic research on IP systems can provide useful information for DCs and developed countries. WIPO should conduct such research as the repository of knowledge on these topics.

Regarding B, para 1, we are not sure that WIPO is correct forum for discussing TRIPS or Doha declaration.

Regarding B, [paragraph 2] there are still opinions far apart in IGC at WIPO.

On public domain, it has an important meaning to economic issues and R&D, and for aspects of culture, but since PD already exists as a counterbalance or opposite of IP we think it is not appropriate to discuss it here.

Chile: A few comments on paragraphs 7,8,9. Some delegations supported the proposals on public domain.

Thank Colombia for clarifying that our proposal does not want to put a cage on what is in the public domain.

We don't want to curtail anything. Often the line between what is protected and what is in the PD has become more hazy, more diffuse, for instance because we have increased the rights holders' terms of protection, and introduced laws for technological protection measures to give more protection to rightholders. The objective of our proposal is to give more certainty to the users of IP works and society in general.

Much has been done by WIPO to identify what is in the PD. In particular, in relation to scientific knowledge, much has been done with SPLT on disclosure of patent info but now we think that there are things that governments can do.
e.g. to indicate when materials falls into the PD. We gave example of Canada, who are doing good things in the pd for orphaned works.

There are many studies that show the return on works is about 10 years.

Regarding copyright, we know that the threshold of what is considered original and subject to protection is low.

We gave examples of legislation that have extended terms of protection retroactively.

Our proposal is that governments would have an obligation to notify -- via a world database - all those works and inventions that fall into the public domain.

As far as patent goes, there is good argument for doing so. It would improve quality of patents by making access to scientific information in public domain.

The IP system is effectively a contract between users and rightsholders. We want to make that contract operational.

On topic of exceptions and limitations, it was said that this was not within the competence of WIPO. This is not so. We have made a request in WIPO SCCR for a study of he topic of L&E for disabled, educational purposes, libraries and archives.

There are some interesting examples of studies on the question of exceptions in Copyright - for instance, the work of Prof. Sam Ricketson which was presented to the Copyright Committee, so the question of flexibility is within capacity of WIPO.

Chair: Tomorrow at 10.00 there is a meeting in Room B with coordinators and other delegations. Our plenary meeting will begin punctually at 10.30. am

Switzerland: Group B meeting at 9:15 am tomorrow

Pakistan: G-77 and China: Meeting at 9 am tomorrow

Austria: EU coordination in Room B at 8.30

Kyrgyzstan: Mtg of Central Asia group now.

Meeting closed at 17.50

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