Blogging WIPO: Final Resolution
We won big this week. First, there is a genuinely substantive policy discussion going on within WIPO about its obligations to be more than an IP-factory and instead explore its capacity as a positive force for the social and economic development of its member states. Not only was the majority of the meeting spent discussing the excellent Friends of Development proposal, but the good guys secured two more meetings to focus on reforming WIPO, defeating those who wanted to limit the process to a single additional meeting. Second, WIPO agreed to open the next two events to the 17 non-accredited non-government organizations (NGOs) that fought hard to attend this first meeting.
The Chair's summary of the proceedings and the next steps in the process have been reproduced for your convenience after the jump. WIPO has now ended its first Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting (IIM) on the Development Agenda. The next meeting will be June 20-22, where delegates will consider comments on the proposals from the 14 Friends of Development, the US, the UK, Mexico, and any other proposals put forward. The third meeting will be some time in July. That meeting will finalize the report to the WIPO General Assembly.
Update: Notes from Day 3 are after the jump.
Chair's Summary and Final Resolution from the Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting on a Development Agenda for WIPO
First Session, Geneva, April 11-13, 2005
As finally adopted, April 13, 2005, 9:06 P.M.
1. The WIPO General Assembly, in its Thirty-First (15th Extraordinary) Session held at Geneva, from September 27 to October 5, 2004, decided to convene inter-sessional intergovernmental meetings to examine the proposals contained in document WO/GA/31/11 (Proposal by Argentina and Brazil for the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO), as well as additional proposals of Member States. The first session of the Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting (IIM) on a Development Agenda for WIPO was held from April 11 to 13, 2005.
2. 99 Member States, 16 Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and 41 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) participated in the session.
3. The IIM decided to admit, on an ad hoc basis, 17 non-accredited NGOs, as per the attached list, without implications as to their status for future WIPO meetings.
4. The IIM unanimously elected Ambassador Rigoberto Gauto Vielman, Permanent Representative of Paraguay, as Chair, and Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria, as Vice-Chair.
5. The IIM adopted the draft agenda as proposed in document IIM/1/1 Prov. with the addition of Item 7 - Adoption of the Report.
6. The IIM discussed a proposal by Argentina and Brazil (co-sponsored by Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Venezuela) relating to the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO (documents WO/GA/31/11 and WO/GA/31/14), a proposal by Brazil on behalf of the "Group of Friends of Development" relating to a Proposal to Establish a Development Agenda for WIPO: An Elaboration of Issues Raised in Document WO/GA/31/11 (document IIM/1/4), a proposal by the United States of America for the Establishment of a Partnership Program in WIPO (document IIM/1/2), a proposal by Mexico on Intellectual Property and Development (document IIM//1/3), and observations by the United Kingdom relating to IP and Development (document IIM/1/5).
7. Given the need for indepth examination of the proposals, it was considered that more time would be required by Member States to examine them. The IIM decided to continue discussions and consideration of the proposals at the next session of the IIM, which would take place from June 20 to 22, and that a third session of three days would be held in July 2005 on dates which would be communicated by the Secretariat to the Member States as soon as possible. Member States may submit in writing to the Secretariat additional proposals on the establishment on a development agenda for consideration at the next session of the IIM. To facilitate discussions at that next session, the Chairman invited those Member States, which had made or would be making proposals, to submit them in operational and actionable language to the Secretariat, in writing.
8. The IIM noted that the Draft Report of the first session would contain all the interventions made during the current session and also the Chairman's summary. This Draft Report will be prepared by the Secretariat and communicated to the Permanent Missions of the Member States. The Draft Report would also be made available, in electronic form and on the WIPO website, to the Member States, IGOs and NGOs by April 25, 2005. Comments on the Draft Report should be communicated in writing to the Secretariat by May 4, 2005. The revised Draft Report would then be made available by May 11, 2005, and would be considered for adoption at the beginning of the said next session of the IIM.
List of NGOs Not Accredited to WIPO That Have Requested Participation in the WIPO IIM of April 11-13, 2005:
1. Institute of International Trade Law and Development - IDCID (Brazil)
2. Institute for Policy Innovation (USA)
3. Independent Film and Television Alliance (London)
4. International Policy Network - IPN (London)
5. Union for the Public Domain (USA)
6. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility [sic - should be CPSR-Peru]
7. IP Justice, (USA)
8. IP-Working Group, European Digital Rights (EDRI) [sic Initiative]
9. Royal Society for the Encouragements of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (UK)
10. Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL)
11. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
12. German Chamber of Patent Attorneys
13. Access to Learning Materials in Southern Africa
Consumer Institute of South Africa
14. Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
15. Consumers International
TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) Secretariat (London)
16. Third World Network (Geneva)
17. LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Blogging WIPO's Development Agenda, Day 3 of the IIM, April 13, 2005
Thiru Balasubramaniam, thiru at cptech.org, Consumer Project on Technology
Gwen Hinze, gwen at eff.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation [GH]
Ren Bucholz, ren at eff.org, Electronic Frontier Foundation [RB]
[NOTE: This is not an official transcript. Any errors and ommissions are regretted.]
Copyright-Only Dedication (based on United States law)
The person or persons who have associated their work with this document (the "Dedicator") hereby dedicate the entire copyright in the work of authorship identified below (the "Work") to the public domain.
Dedicator makes this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of Dedicator's heirs and successors. Dedicator intends this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights under copyright law, whether vested or contingent, in the Work. Dedicator understands that such relinquishment of all rights includes the relinquishment of all rights to enforce (by lawsuit or otherwise) those copyrights in the Work.
Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.
Thank you to the delegations who have expressed support for our proposal. There are the first steps in a long diplomatic process. GFoD proposal - We'll review and respond to this document in the near future. We need to maintain an atmosphere of respect & diplomacy, avoid affronts. Therefore, we cannot contain our surprise at the last remarks from Brazil and Argentina. We took particular note of the tone, style and adjectives used by Argentina, which we will report to our chancery so that they can respond in the manner they see fit. We request that these remarks be included in the Chair's summary and final report.
We are not responding to the 4 proposals. Our issue is with the approach to closing the gap between developed and developing countries. IP is not end in itself, but a tool for development. The current system gives much more protection to rights holders than to developing nations. These have become a barrier to development. But don't see this as requiring new body.We are seeking consensus on the approach. We believe that a broader approach is necessary because technical assistance can only ever be a partial solution.
I just wanted to clarify that the delegation of Argentina is acting under explicit instructions from the government of Argentina. As in all meetings and international fora in which I participate, any statement I made, in the terms I make it, is under express instructions from my government.
Associate self with African group, LDC group & African Union. Need to integrate IP and development further. IP needs to be strengthened, and integrated into national development strategies.
We have taken the initiative to promote Traditional Medicine. Also undertaken capacity building for technology transfer. Also, started recording geographical indications. All within context of WIPO and cooperation and in furtherance of development strategies.
* Int'l Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys:
Draw members from over 80 countries. The members rep. creators & sometimes users of IP rights - including some who want to invalidate certain rights.We therefore take a balanced approach to these issues.
Believes that the US proposal will help expedite the process of IP & development integration because it builds on existing capabilities of WIPO. Should integrate with other organizations, not reinvent the wheel. IP alone won't solve the problem. The US's partnership proposal and database are welcome first steps. Others can follow, but they must remain within WIPO's existing structure.
* International Publishers Association:
78 members in 68 countries around the world, most of which are in developing countries. Addressing not just as IPA, but also as publisher of educational books. In all developing countries, publishing is dominated by SMEs.
For example in Cameroon, our publishers have increased sales from 11-15%. Since publishing depends on gov't policies. copyright not end in itself, but rather a tool. for example:
- in all countries where we work, we have the opportunity to use local writers to transcribe oral histories to transform this work into wealth.
- Copyright allows for the protection of local languages. Important to establish literacy and dfending the many (list) of languages that we all enjoy.
- important for WIPO to promote programs in co-ordination with other UN agencies. There are other issues eg. book taxes.
Piracy - true cultural scourge in Africa - Piracy is the greates impediment to the rich environment of local literature & books. Many ways to proceed, can't go into them all, but this is where your help would be most important.
* Transatlantic Consumers Dialogue & Consumers International ( Jamie Love):
Joint Statement of Consumers International (CI) and TransAtlantic
Consumer Dialgoue (TACD)
WIPO Intersessional Intergovernmental Meeting on Proposal to Establish a
Development Agenda for WIPO
13 April 2005
I would like to congratulate his Excellency on his election as Chair,
and his colleague's election as vice chair. I would also like to thank
the Secretariat and the member states for the flexibility they have show
with regarding to ad hoc accreditation for civil society non-government
Consumers International (CI) supports, links and represents consumer
groups and agencies all over the world. It has a membership of over 250
organizations in 115 countries. It strives to promote a fairer society
through defending the rights of all consumers, especially the poor,
marginalized and disadvantaged. The TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue
(TACD) is a coalition of 65 consumers associations in the United States
and Europe. Many members of both CI and TACD are also actively
involved in the publishing of magazines, books, newsletter and Web
pages. This statement represents the views of CI and TACD.
CI and TACD hosted a 2003 meeting in Lisbon on the WIPO Work Program,
and TACD hosted a September 2004 meeting in Geneva on the Future of
WIPO. We are among the hundreds of groups and leading experts who have
endorsed the Geneva Declaration on the Future of WIPO.
We support the thoughtful and far reaching proposal by the Friends of
Development (FoD) for a development agenda. We seek a change of
direction in WIPO, in terms of the mission, the management of the agency
and the work program.
Rules concerning knowledge as intellectual property should support
creative activity, innovation and development, while respecting human
rights and the need for consumer protection.
We are concerned that WIPO is out of touch with modern thinking about
innovation. The debates about intellectual property protection are
often too ideological, and focused on unproven and sometimes untrue
assertions regarding the benefits of extending intellectual property
protection, with insufficient attention to the costs that such systems
can impose on society.
Today many innovative businesses are engaged in a debate of the proper
role of intellectual property in supporting innovation. Many large
pharmaceutical companies created the SNPS consortium to develop an open
source/public domain scientific database of genetic information. The
Internet relies upon open standards, created through bodies such as the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C), and free software programs. IBM has announced it is changing its
thinking about the patent policy, which it describes as out of control
in the United States. The New York Times reported on Monday that
"companies in industry after industry are also reconsidering their
strategies on intellectual property: what do you share? What do you
keep proprietary?" Even Microsoft is beginning to share some software
code and is alarmed at the inability the US government to properly
evaluate software patents. The US Chamber of Commerce is a leading
opponent of a new law on databases, and the European Commission is
considering whether it should modify or eliminate its databases
directive, which some consider to have been a mistake that harms
innovation. New innovative businesses like Google provide services that
vastly expand access to knowledge, but which could not operate without
limitations and exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright holders.
There are many new proposals to finance innovation. For example, the US
Congress is considering HR 417, the Medical Innovation Prize Fund, which
is a legislative proposal for financing drug development. This proposal
recognizes the need for incentives to invest in new medicines, but
through a new paradigm that separates the market for innovation from the
market for the products. New medicines would become generic products,
priced at the cost of manufacturing and distribution, while (successful)
developers of new medicines would be remunerated from a $60 billion per
year Medical Innovation Prize Fund, (50 basis points of US GDP) over a
10-year period of time, based upon evidence of incremental health care
benefits. Some have proposed new policies on government procurement of
software that would promote open interfaces and interoperability of
software. There are new "author pay" open access publishing models for
scholarly scientific research, which have been endorsed by some of the
most important funders of such research.
WIPO should be aware of and be learning from new approaches to
innovation. WIPO must be free to innovate itself, and should not be
bound to an outdated and thought-free mission of promoting endless
expansions of intellectual property rights, regardless of their
consequences. The new intellectual property rules should support and not
undermine business models and innovation incentives that promote access
We note that intellectual property systems can be characterized as a
system of regulation of knowledge. Like other forms of regulation, it
presents the risk of regulatory capture, through the lobbying activities
of groups who want protections from competition or otherwise engaged in
rent seeking at the expense of the public interest.
We agree with the FoD that WIPO should halt efforts to harmonize global
standards of patentability, given the problematic state of patent policy
in the United States or Europe. WIPO should not promote the unnecessary
and harmful proposal for a treaty for broadcasting and webcasting
organizations, and it should not promote a treaty on protection of
databases. WIPO should instead address areas where it can solve well
known problems and abuses of the patent system.
The WIPO Standing Committee on Patents should consider the following
1. Identify a more constructive and productive role for WIPO to address
the growing concern over patent quality, including analysis of the
causes of poor patent quality, and the various strategies to eliminate
poor quality patents.
2. Address the proposals by the World Health Organization to address
patent transparency in developing countries,
3. Address the appropriate implementation of paragraph 4 of the WTO
Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health,
4. Review implementation of Article 40 of the TRIPS regarding the
control of anticompetitive practices,
5. Address the problems faced by standards organizations, and in
particular, those that involve essential interfaces for knowledge goods,
such as software or Internet standards.
The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)
should focus on agenda items such as:
1. The Chilean proposal to discuss the implementation of TRIPS
flexibilities to protect the visually impaired, libraries, educators,
2. Essential limitations and exceptions that are necessary to protect
the Internet, including search engines.
3. Access to government funded research.
4. New voluntary mechansims to promote access to knowledge, such as the
creative commons, or the sharing of the BBC archives.
5. Implementation of Article 40 of the TRIPS as it relates to
6. Control of anticompetitive practices in the areas such as software,
academic and scholarly journals, or the distribution of music,
7. The use of government procurement or other measures to promote open
interfaces for essential knowledge goods,
8. The impact of technological protection measures and digital rights
management system on consumers.
We support the proposal for a treaty on access to knowledge (a2k), and
recommend that the Standing Committee on Patents (SCP) and the Standing
Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) discuss the possible
elements of such a treaty. Among the topics that should be discussed
are minimum limitations and exceptions to patents and copyrights, open
access archives for publicly funded research, government procurement
policies that support open software interfaces.
We anticipate providing further submissions to the IIM on these topics,
including an elaboration of the possible elements of a treaty on access
* FSF Europe:
Statement by Mr. Georg C.F. Greve
my congratulations to you and your distinguished colleagues for having been entrusted with chairing this very important IIM. I speak on behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe, which has been following the discussions around the establishment of a Development Agenda with great interest. We thank all countries for their contributions and would in particular like to commend the Friends of Development on their very thoughtful and deep proposal.
Software is the medium that defines and structures the digital domain. Cultural techniques, such as agriculture, reading and writing have been essential to evolutionary steps of humankind. Software is the digital cultural technique upon which the information age will rest. Access to software determines who may participate in a digital society.
During the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003 in Geneva, the Member States jointly adopted that ``equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure and services'' is one of the challenges the United Nations face, and that ``Connectivity is a central enabling agent in building the Information Society.'' Standards and software models were identified as cornerstones in the pursuit of the inclusive, developed Information Society.
A recent study from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany showed that 80% of all German exports depend on Information and Communication Technologies. Because of this central nature of software, lack of interoperability and a lack of competitiveness act to the detriment of the entire national economies of all Member States. In recognition of this fact, the UN Member States at the WSIS adopted that ``Standardization is one of the essential building blocks of the Information Society.''
As recent cases have shown, traditional reactive antitrust instruments are often incapable of matching the rapid pace of ICT evolution. A more pro-active approach is required. As such, freely implementable, publicly documented standards are one of the few known and proven tools to protect interoperability and competition.
We therefore call upon WIPO to include in its policies effective measures to ensure that software standards be freely implementable and publicly documented.
as was adopted and endorsed at the WSIS, choice of software model is another important component of the Information Society. Its Plan of Action therefore encouraged research and called on all Member States to promote awareness for the effects of the different software models. Building upon Copyright, the global movement for software freedom has spent the past 20 years providing a model that protects competition, interoperability and sustainable development.
Equitable participation requires equal access and control, it requires independence from the particular interests of foreign states and entities. Today, only the Free Software model grants equal rights and freedoms to all Member States, their corporations and citizens.
WIPO should therefore make sure that all its activities are fully accessible and available with Free Software and include Free Software in its technical assistance activities.
The model of Free Software has played a crucial role in the current dawn of the information age, such as the invention and rise of the internet. If by some magic Free Software were to disappear, so would the internet. By using the Copyright system itself to mitigate some of its restrictions, Free Software is the living proof that more monopolies and more restrictions do not always mean more economic or innovative activity.
We explicitly support the Friends of Development in their statement that no tool should ever be promoted for its own sake and should therefore be beyond review. FSFE supports the proposal to establish a permanent dialog that pro-actively seeks alternative forms of encouraging intellectual activity while monitoring and adjusting the existing toolset of granting limited intellectual monopolies to best meet the requirements of human development.
Essential building blocks of human creativity, such as access to knowledge and freedom to participate in society and economy should once again become the norm, not the exception.
it is the declared goal of WIPO to ``create real wealth for nations.'' This IIM can be the first step towards WIPO meeting the needs of being a true ``World Intellectual Wealth Organisation'' of the Information Society. We consider this a unique chance and will be glad to contribute to this process in any way we can.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
* Pedro de Paranagua Moniz, Centre for Technology and Society (CTS), of Getulio
Vargas Foundation School of Law, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
Not against IP, and not enough attention has been paid to the abuse of IP. 1961 Brazil proposal. FOSS and Creative Commons licenses.
Mr. Chairman and Mr. Vice-Chairman, we would like to congratulate you on your election. We also thank the WIPO secretariat, the Chair and the Member Countries for the opportunity to present my organization's views and for admitting the 17 NGOs as ad hoc observers to this important meeting.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international civil society non-profit organization, with offices in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, dedicated to protecting civil liberties, freedom of expression and the public interest in the digital environment. EFF is funded primarily by its 10,000 individual members, and publishes a weekly newsletter with over 50,000 subscribers worldwide.
We wish to address how access to knowledge will be impaired by technical locks like Digital Rights Management and Technological Protection Measures. We support the thoughtful proposal of the Friends of Development. As paragraph 13 of that proposal notes: "it has become clear that in the increasingly global knowledge economy, access to knowledge and technology is indispensable for social and economic development and for the well-being of people in all countries." Technological protection measures backed by overbroad laws can impair access to knowledge and technology that is essential for development, and impede technology transfer in developing countries.
In the several years that technological protection measure regimes have been legally enforced in developed countries, they have not been effective at protecting rightsholders' intellectual property. Thus, by themselves, they offer no basis for sustainable economic development for local creators and the cultural industry in developing countries. At the same time, they have caused substantial collateral harm to consumers, scientific research, freedom of expression, competition policy and technology innovation.
Overbroad technological protection measure laws pose even greater dangers for developing countries that do not have established legal institutions and regulatory processes to rein in their over-reaching effects. In developing countries they are likely to:
(1) override national copyright exceptions and limitations;
(2) impair access to knowledge, increase the cost of accessing information, and diminish the public domain, thereby expanding the knowledge gap between developed and developing countries;
(3) chill scientific research;
(4) restrict legitimate competition;
(5) stifle technology innovation; and
(6) preclude free and open source software development.
For countries that are net importers of copyrighted information goods, technological protection measure laws will result in a transfer of wealth from domestic economies to foreign rightsholders, without any guarantee of reciprocal investment in the local cultural economy.
Member countries are being asked to implement technological protection measures laws in several contexts: first, as signatories to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty; second, to protect broadcasters', cablecasters' and webcasters' transmissions in the proposed Broadcasting Treaty in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, and third, as part of bilateral and regional trade negotiations. Before Member Countries are pressed to adopt these new obligations EFF believes that countries should understand the costs to their national interests and economies of implementing these regimes.
Accordingly EFF supports the Friends of Development proposals for an independent, evidence-based Development Impact Assessment for new WIPO norm-setting activities, and the guidelines for provision of impartial and balanced technical assistance.
EFF has prepared a briefing paper for delegates that we have provided to the WIPO secretariat, which includes our analysis of these matters, and detailed recommendations for WIPO's ongoing work. I wish to highlight two of these here:
(1) WIPO should undertake a study of the costs of implementing legally sanctioned technological protection measures for developing countries. This report should be made available with the July Development Agenda report to General Assembly members.
(2) In providing technical assistance to developing countries on implementation of their technological protection measure obligations, WIPO should take account of existing public interest flexibilities in international instruments, and preserve policy space for both countries' existing national copyright law exceptions and limitations, and creation of new exceptions appropriate to the specific development needs of the countries to which it provides assistance.
We also strongly support initiatives to restore the balance to intellectual property systems that is overturned by technological protection measure laws, such as the proposal for mandatory minimum exceptions and limitations for the disabled, educational uses and libraries, that was put forward by the distinguished member from Chile at the November 2004 Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, and a treaty addressing access to knowledge.
We believe that these proposals will strengthen the work of WIPO and enhance its institutional capacity to meet the specific needs of its developing country members.
Thank you for your consideration.
Higher IP should not be an end in itself. Software patents.
* Independent Film & Television Alliance:
Formerly AFMA -
Pricing of IP goods is subject to market forces! WIPO's role should continue to be *the* organization to enhance IP around the world.
Today's patent-driven research mechanism results in huge blindspots for important, but unprofitable, drugs.
WIPO should engage in new models of health-needs-driven education. X% of people in Africa rely on generic pharmaceuticals, most of which come from India.
* Third World Network:
Not happy with current status quo. 10 years since TRIPs and many developing countries are being pressed to take on higher IP before even compliance with TRIPS. Misappropriation of Traditional Knowledge and genetic resources
1. Review existing treaties - bilateral trade agreements require accesssion. WIPO should see whether these hinder development in developing countries.
2. Before any present or future norm-setting, WIPO should undertake assessment of impact of the treaty on development and the public interest.
3. WIPO should undertake a positive agenda for development, including for example, access to knowledge treaty (A2K), access to health, and consideration of mandatory minimum exceptions and limitations to copyright and patent protection.
4. WIPO should provide balanced and development-drive technical assistance. In particular, it should give equal emphasis to exisitng flexibilities available in treaties and how to implement them in national laws, as to enforcement of rights.
5. WIPO should be member-driven, transparent and participatory. It is not role of Secretariat to prepare proposals - for members to do so. Should be inclusive - not like meeting in Casablanca that took place recently, where only some Member States invited.
Support FOD proposal
* CPSR-Peru: Call for copyright law exceptions and limitations to TPM laws.
See CPSR-Peru's spanish blog at :
* Civil Society Coaltion:
Civil Society Coalition Statement to the Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting on the WIPO Development Agenda
April 13, 2005
Thank you your Excellency. As this is the first time the Civil Society Coalition is taking the floor, please let me congratulate you on your election to the chair.
My delegation welcomes the decision of WIPO Member States at this first Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting on a Development Agenda to grant ad hoc accreditation to NGOs seeking to participate in this historic event.
It is now more than ten years after the TRIPS Agreement has come into effect, about six years after the World Health Organization called upon Member States to "ensure that public health interests are paramount in pharmaceutical and health policies," and more than three years after the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health said the TRIPS Agreement "should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members' right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all."
If one is serious about the declarations of the WHO and the WTO, Member States must enact legislation and use the various limitations and exceptions to the rights of patents, trademarks or other types of intellectual property that are necessary to promote access to medicine.
What has WIPO done to assist countries in the implementation of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health? Does it acknowledge there are abuses of patent rights, and mechanisms to remedy such abuses? Has WIPO held meetings explaining how countries can use the compulsory licensing flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement? Does it examine the problems of anticompetitive practices such as "evergreening" patents on medicines?
How does it address requests for technical assistance when countries seek to provide so called "bolar" exceptions to patent laws, or to authorize parallel trade in medicines?
This is important. Has the International Bureau emphasized the ability of a country to authorize the export of medicines manufactured under a compulsory license under Article 40 of the TRIPS, without the burdensome procedures required by the August 30th 2003 decision adopted by the WTO?
Is the patent system that is promoted by WIPO one that can be fairly implemented in countries that lack the capacity and the resources to challenge poor patent quality? If not, can we design new approaches to fix the problem? Really, fix the problem.
We ask that the Standing Committee on Patents have as an agenda item a review of WIPO's policies on implementation of Paragraph 4 of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. We also ask the SCP to examine the issue of the control of anticompetitive practices, particularly the implementation of Article 40 of the TRIPS.
This is not a matter of minor importance. It should have a higher priority than efforts to harmonize standards of patentability. It should come first.
Mr. Chairman, congratulations on your election as chair. The Union for
the Public Domain is an international organization that works for the
protection of the public domain and access to knowledge.
Social and economic development is increasingly dependent on access to
knowledge. WIPO must have a more balanced work program that gives
attention to the mechanisms that promote or expand access to knowledge.
1) WIPO should evaluate alternatives to monopolies on knowledge.
Granting monopoly rights over knowledge restricts freedom, imposes costs
on consumers and presents barriers to follow-on innovation. Knowledge
monopolies should only be used sparingly by national governments-in
cases where better means to stimulate creativity and innovation do not
exist, and where human rights are respected.
In the last decade, models of open innovation such as the Internet
Engineering Task Force, the World Wide Web consortium, free and open
source software, the human genome project, and the open access
publishing movement have proved to be useful and powerful tools to spur
innovation and provide access to knowledge. WIPO needs to understand
and support such new business models. WIPO should avoid policies, like
software patents, that undermine these efforts.
2) Exceptions and limitations must be utilized to promote development.
WIPO has played an instrumental role in explaining TRIPS obligations to
developing countries. The WIPO secretariat should redouble its efforts
to identify and explain flexibilities that exist under TRIPS for
facilitating access to knowledge.
The Standing Committees on Patents and Copyrights should discuss the
implementation of Article 40 of the TRIPS on the control of
anti-competitive practices. WIPO should consider how developing
countries can adopt per se rules that will encourage the transfer of
knowledge and promote access to knowledge.
3) WIPO should evaluate the long run consequences of new technological
measures that control access to knowledge.
Technological locks, such as "technological protection measures" and
"digital rights management" are being used to override national
copyright exceptions and limitations, increase the cost of access to
knowledge, restrict competition and preclude the development and use of
Free and Open Source Software.
The Standing Committee on Copyright should schedule on its agenda a
discussion of how TPMs and DRMs affect consumer interests.
Finally, WIPO should develop a pro-active agenda to address growing
problems concerning access to knowledge. The relevant standing
committees, or a special committee, should consider possible elements
for a proposed treaty on Access to Knowledge.
* European Digital Rights Initiative:
* International Music Managers Forum:
Only organization that deals with all parts of the copyright system on a daily basis. And in that capacity, they are very aware that no country in the world actually strikes the balance that informs the foundation of copyright law.
Even in most developed countries, stakeholders are far from agreement on how to make music available while fairly compensating artists. A copyright system is working well when it is not noticed, like a computer network.
* IFLA (Librarians):
WIPO must take account of several principles:
1. IP is only valuable insofar as it is based on substantive development policies;
2. IP stakeholders must include public at large.
3. The dev. agenda is not a southern agenda, and cannot be limited to technical assistance.
4. Principle of transparency should apply for WIPO norm-setting and technical assistance. CIEL supports GFOD proposals for increasing transparency that were pioneered in the international environmental movement. eg. the creation of an objective entity like WERO to evaluate success of WIPO's technical assistance, and the need for development impact assessment before any WIPO norm-setting.
* British Copyright Council:
Association of organizations including performers, songwriters, publishers, etc. WIPO already has development agenda. Copyright provides positive and important tool for development.
Important for confidence and identity of developing nations, not just importation of easily-pirated external goods. Traditional knowledge and skills will disappear without IP. IP is required to safeguard those things.
* Institute for Policy Innovation:
Pub policy research institution w/23,000 members. Economic growth comes from participation in markets, but they require consistency and predictability. In order for LDCs to become fully integrated, need some degree of consistency.
Find it strange that anyone could think that less IP is better for developments. IPR are in fact Rights, and gives creators economic leverage. Efforts to change WIPO's mandate are efforts to undermine the stability and predictability of global IP rules. Supports US and Mexico proposals. The GFoD proposal is a distraction from WIPO's core competency, and other orgs already have development as a central factor,
Point five of agenda: Future Work
confine to points 7 & 8 of page 2 of the chair's summary. Opens floor to delegations to discuss future work.
Would like to approach individually or in groups regarding the chairman's summary. In paragraph 6, going into 7 & 8 (chair - keep it to future work)
On behalf of development - wants to raise the prospect of convening one other session of IIM
* Italy (Coordinator, Group B) :
Seeking amendments to Chair's draft summary:
(1) Paragraph 7, second sentence, second line: after "of the proposals" add"and asks the Chair to produce a draft report to the General Assembly which sets out a work plan."
(2) para 7, last line add " which will also finalize the report submitted to the GA."
(3) On paragraph 8, clarify nature of report: after "draft report" add "of the first meeting".
(4) "this" Chairman's summary.
7 & 8 give good departure for future work, and we agree to go forward with it.
* Eastern Europe, Caucuses, central Asia:
In principle have no objection.
* Central European and Baltic States:
Agree with and could go along with current draft language.
These paragraphs pick up most crucial aspects, and extra drafting wouldn't be useful. We agree to adopt 7 & 8
Confusion on last paragraph, since unsure whether they apply to future or previous proposals submitted. What is meaning of "operational language"?
On para 8, want to ask secretariat to send communiques to permanent representatives to advise that the report is available on WIPO website. Also, propose following in 8 "will send notification by April 25, 2005"
Agree with Egypt's comments on paragraph 7. Will comment on para 6 later. Reason why more time sought is for delegations to consider proposals. In this meeting, members were allowed to touch on general themes, and papers weren't really available. For next meeting, the proposals should be assresses point by point. In order to fulfill mandate from the General Assembly in its October 2004 resolution, the IIM probably need 2 more sessions before the the General Assembly to prepare report and go forward. Important to remember that this is a new issue and not an easy task, and this daunting challenge can't be handled with just one meeting. Therefore, can't support the date in this paragraph unless it allows for two meetings.
Re statement that Member states may submit in writing any other proposals for consideration. Instead, should clarify that *additional* proposals can be submitted for establishing a development agenda for WIPO.
We also have a concern with the mention of "operative language". The current proposals have operative language. We would rather not get into this debate about what is/isn't operative language. We would prefer to leave open the possibility of submitting proposals without requiring to submit operative language. Last sentence in para 7 is redundant. The basis of discussions are the original Brazil/Argentina proposal and the GFOD proposal plus the submissions by the US, UK and Mexico.
Disagree with suggestion from group B about date, since we need two more meetings of IIM. Notes that the Report should be reviewed and written by all Member States. Therefore do not agree with Group B proposal for finalization of report for General Assembly.
We support the statement by Egypt. We should try to maintain the wording adopted by the General Assembly.In the General Assembly last year, Member States agreed to give report to the General Assembly. Shouldn't be confused with factual statement by Chair.
We would like to comment on paragraph 7, which basically lays out the roadmap. Like two previous speakers, given the importance of the subject, should provide for at least 2 more meetings to finalize IIM. Given timeframe for report to GA, need to find window for second session. Suggests 16-24 May and third session in window June 20-24 2005.
The next session should get down to work on an in-depth examination of issues. The last few days were just first brush as it were, and we need to formulate an appropriate methodology.
Date for submission of additional proposals - May 30 - not appropriate. Countries won't have time to consider. Not necessary to have last two sentences of paragraph 7 - for groups that have submitted proposals, useful to have opportunity to recast proposals as operationally effective. What we have now are broad proposals that need to eb operationalized.
Agree with comments aimed at setting up 2 meetings to consider proposals in-depth.
Want to bring this to general body in a seemly matter, so we have to go forward in balanced way and on solid foundation. My position is that it is ill-advised to establish the number of meetings needed. Wise to be practical - maybe we should decide at second meeting whether it's helpful to have a third. Don't want to say that the next will be the last, so that we think the next meeting will the last, where the document is drafted.
Moreover, have already looked at dates. There are delegations that already have commitments. I couldn't come, we could have another chair, but others have agreed to be reasonable. Many delegations have told me that they would like time to consider proposals presented.
This leads me to set date for next meeting, but without prejudice to holding another meeting later.
Last part para 7, can we find less ambiguous language referring to proposals presented versus those that might be submitted?
On Morocco's suggestion for para 7 - can probably find less vague language. Exp "operative language" goes to our feeling that specific proposals should be discussed.
These are my general comments. We could add another paragraaph, but I would like to consult with Secretariat. Giving floor to Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad & Tobago: Chair has clarified his concern. We would like more time to consider proposals. We can have a second meeting if it is needed. Resource implications: same few who are here today, also have to deal with 5 or 5 other things. Same true of other CARCIOM states. Thus, agree with your statement that would abrogate need for us to go any further right now.
Islamic Republic of Iran: GA mandated IIM in order to examine proposals made in GA and other proposals at this session. As per paragraph 7 we will have other proposals, but we did not have sufficient time to review all the good proposals at this meeting, therefore we need another 2 meetings to consider all proposals. As the GA mandated to IIM,IIM needs to give clear guidelines to GA.
Would like to meet with delegations that have offered suggestions to see if they can meet in Room B.
LONG BREAK - Resumed at 8:40 pm
Please reword para 6 to reflect Group of Friends of Development's involvement, not just that of Brazil.
On new version, on paragraph 8, make sure that it includes making the the papers available to NGOs & IGOs on the same timeline.
Approved with these changes
Have clear mandate from African group that all future development work be provided in a report format. However, in the spirit of flexibility, the Africa Group is prepared to go along with the (compromise) proposal to hold two three-day meetings, without a report issuing from the second IIM meeting.
Thanks to the chair.
Want to bring forth opinion of African group?
Want to thank Chair and Secretariat. Agrees fully with document. Would like to encourage more documents to be provided in six languages, so that all delegates could have copies.
Thanks Chair, didn't want to take the floor, but wants to make clear that Africa Group wasn't the reason for the delay in moving forward (contrary to speculation in the corridors).
Support statement from Morocco. Want to reaffirm & clarify that is not and was never the intention of the African group to stand in the way of two more meetings.
Agreement important in two perspective. First in that we've reached a significant procedural consensus for 2 meetings. Further, since this is so important, perhaps the next two meetings can focus on the actual clusters of proposals and concerns in forwarded proposals. It would be appropriate for us to go more into a structured discussion or negotiating mode.
Want more focused, specific meeting next time.
* Civil Society Coalition (Jamie Love):
What about ad hoc accredited NGOs? Can we give them status for the next meetings?
Chair: Given that the text has been adopted by delegations, we cannot amend it. However, we will undertake consultations to find the answer.
Italy - can we delete "for the current session" in paragraph three?
Chair asks for support
Egypt - expresses support
Chair - lots of flags, but if no objections, then we can continue with this deletion. It is decided.
No more comments, thanks to everyone else. I feel that this is a good start for some extremely important discussions... agrees that there should be more structured discussions in June. Asks delegations to focus on existing proposals. Thanks to regional coordinators.
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