Endorsement of the WIPO 2006-2007 Program and Budget
On April 29 the WIPO Program and Budget Committee endorsed the Proposed Program and Budget for the 2006-2007 biennium presented by WIPO Director General Kamil Idris. This will now be sent to the WIPO General Assembly in September 2005 for adoption. Three delegations stated at this time that they were not able to support the proposal.
The Program and Budget Committee endorsed a budget amounting to 531 million Swiss Francs (SFr). Addressing delegates at the opening of the meeting, WIPO Financial Controller Carlotta Graffigna stressed that the Proposed Budget for 2006/07 introduced a policy based on budgetary balance following four consecutive biennia of budgeted deficits. This was proposed with no increase in the fees levied on WIPO services to the private sector, no deficit, no surplus, and reserves at the level set by Member States.
Mrs. Graffigna noted that income was expected to grow by 4.4 percent in 2006/07. Demand for the services provided by WIPO to the private sector continued to grow, while contributions from Member States were at a historically low level – less than 7 percent of the overall income. Within an effectively status quo budget (only eight million SFr higher than the revised budget for 2004/05), resources for cooperation with developing countries would increase from 71.7 million SFr to 73.7 million SFr. Thanks to vigorous efforts led by the Director General to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures , the deficit in the 2004/05 biennium was contained at a minimum, leaving reserves almost untapped.
While the Committee endorsed the proposal, it stipulated that the General Assembly in September 2005 could make adjustments as appropriate in order to take into account any budgetary implications resulting from on-going discussions on the WIPO Development Agenda or other issues.
Funding of new building
Delegates also supported a proposal for WIPO to take out a bank loan to fund the revised construction project for a new administrative building. Subject to the endorsement of the General Assembly meeting in September 2005, construction work would resume in 2006 following a tender for the bank loan, a new international tender for the general contractor and a tender for a company to provide external management of the implementation of the project. Decision on the tender for the general contractor and for the external management would be taken by an independent jury of representatives of Member States. The total estimated cost of the revised project is 125.4 million SFr.
Implementation of JIU report
Member States commended the Secretariat for its full cooperation with the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) in respect of their report entitled "Review of Management and Administration in WIPO: Budget, Oversight and Related Issues." They recommended that the Secretariat report to the WIPO General Assembly in September 2005 on the implementation of the recommendations of the report which are addressed to the Director General, and that it transmit the other recommendations to the competent WIPO bodies for consideration. (WIPO’s preliminary observations on the report.)
The Program and Budget Committee session was chaired by Mr. Jae-Hyun Ahn (Republic of Korea). Mr. Li-Feng Schrock (Germany) and Mrs. Ivana Milovanovic (Serbia and Montenegro) were elected as Vice-Chairs of the Committee.
Member States Agree Basic Text for Revised Trademark Law Treaty
The Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), which met from April 18 to 22, agreed a text to be proposed as a basis for negotiations at the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Revised Trademark Law Treaty (TLT). The SCT meeting was followed, on April 25 and 26, by a Preparatory Meeting for the Diplomatic Conference, in which Singapore offered to host the diplomatic conference.
Basic proposal for the revised TLT
The TLT, concluded in 1994, introduced standard requirements to be followed in procedures before trademark offices. The text agreed by the SCT proposes new provisions covering:
- the electronic filing of trademark applications and associated communications;
- the formalities concerning the representation of all types of marks, including visible signs (and certain forms of visible signs, such as hologram marks, color marks, position marks or motion marks) as well as non-visible signs;
- the recording of trademark licenses;
- relief measures when certain time limits have been missed;
- and the establishment of an assembly of the Contracting Parties.
There was consensus among Member States on a "basic proposal" to be presented at the diplomatic conference from March 3 to 31, 2006.
Preparations for the Diplomatic Conference
The Preparatory Meeting for the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a Revised TLT adopted the provisional rules of procedure for the diplomatic conference. It decided that the Member States of WIPO, the European Community, the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) should be invited to the Diplomatic Conference as member delegations. Member states of the United Nations who are not members of WIPO, as well as all organizations with permanent observer status with WIPO, and all observers to the SCT would be invited as observers.
The meeting noted with gratitude an offer made by the Government of Singapore to host the diplomatic conference. As the September 2004 WIPO General Assembly had already decided that Geneva would be the venue for the conference, the meeting agreed to defer this question to the next WIPO General Assembly in September 2005.