Memorandum prepared by the International Bureau
1. The Program and Budget for the 1998-1999 biennium, approved by the General Assembly of WIPO at its meeting from March 25 to 27, 1998, provides under Sub-program 09.1 for consideration by the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (hereinafter referred to as the "SCP") of the preparation of a diplomatic conference for patent harmonization formalities, to be preceded by a preparatory meeting dealing with the procedural aspects of the conference, as follows (see document A/32/2, WO/BC/18/2, page 88):
"Patent Formalities Harmonization: reviewing the draft Patent Law Treaty and draft Regulations, using, wherever possible, solutions adopted for PCT procedures; preparation for a diplomatic conference, to be preceded by a preparatory meeting dealing with procedural aspects of the conference."
2. The WIPO General Assembly in its meeting of September 7 to 15, 1998, took note of the information contained in document WO/GA/23/1 and approved the work carried out by
the SCP, contained in document WO/GA/23/7, as follows:
"12. With respect to its work concerning the draft PLT, the SCP requested that the following statements be conveyed to the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO (paragraphs 11 and 25 of the Summary by the Chair, document SCP/1/6):
`It was also agreed that the discussions concerning the PLT should be undertaken in close coordination with discussions concerning PCT reform, electronic filing and information technology in other relevant WIPO bodies, including in particular bodies under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and the Standing Committee on Information Technology (SCIT), and that a recommendation to that effect should be made to the SCIT and to the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.
`The Secretariat will report to the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO on the progress made at its first meeting, and will notify those Assemblies that the Standing Committee, in undertaking preparations for a diplomatic conference at the preparatory meeting mentioned in Sub-program 09.1 of the WIPO Program and Budget for 1998-99, expects that it will, at one of its meetings in 1999, set dates for a diplomatic conference which could be held as early as 2000.'
"42. The General Assembly noted the report contained in document WO/GA/23/1, and approved the work carried out by and planned for the future work of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) and the Standing Committee on Information Technologies (SCIT)."
3. Since the last meeting of the WIPO General Assembly, the SCP held its first session, second part, from November 16 to 20, 1998, and its second session in Geneva from April 12 to 23, 1999. The Reports of those sessions are contained in documents SCP/1/11 and SCP/2/13. At the end of the first session, second part, of the SCP, the International Bureau was asked to schedule a preparatory meeting in conjunction with the second or third session of the SCP. Dates for a diplomatic conference to adopt the PLT were tentatively decided as May 15 to June 2, 2000.
4. A Preparatory Meeting for the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Patent Law Treaty was held on April 15 and 16, 1999, in Geneva. The meeting adopted the draft Agenda of the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Patent Law Treaty as well as the draft Rules of Procedure for the Diplomatic Conference. The Preparatory Meeting also approved the proposal that the Conference take place in Geneva, from Thursday, May 11 to Friday, June 2, 2000. In the event that a Member State proposes to host the Diplomatic Conference, the Preparatory Meeting could be reconvened in conjunction with the third session of the Standing Committee from September 6 to 17, 1999 *, to recommend a different venue for the Diplomatic Conference. As of the date of the present document, no such proposal has been received by the International Bureau.
5. The General Assembly of WIPO and the Assembly of the Paris Union are invited to note the information presented in the present document and to approve the holding of a Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Patent Law Treaty as set out in paragraph 4.
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* This date is subject to change, depending upon the availability of conference facilities.