World Intellectual Property Organization

Development Agenda: International Seminar

May 2005

Following a decision taken by its Members States at the 2004 General Assemblies, WIPO hosted an International Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP) and Development in Geneva on May 2 and 3. The seminar aimed to provide a forum for an open, inclusive and interactive debate on IP issues of international concern, focussing on the challenges facing developing countries. Over 120 participants attended the event, representing a wide cross-section of stakeholders from governments, Civil Society, industry and universities. The seminar was organized jointly with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Under the two broad themes of IP and public policy and IP and development, the seminar covered a wide spectrum of issues, including public health, traditional knowledge, biodiversity, copyright and related rights in the digital environment, competition policy, creating value from IP assets, technology transfer and national best practices. Panels of experts, representing a balance of interests and opinions, delivered presentations on the different thematic topics.

Participants from all regions of the world analyzed the role that the IP system plays in development, and exchanged views on how the current IP system might be improved. Discussions were constructive and motivated by a shared concern to examine how IP can best contribute to meeting the needs of developing countries.

This seminar was one in a series of meetings on IP and development, which resulted from the agreement by Member States at the 2004 Assemblies to take a fresh look at the development dimension of WIPO’s work. The first of three Intersessional Intergovernmental Meetings (IIM) on a Development Agenda for WIPO was held in April. WIPO Magazine will report separately on the preliminary results of the IIM discussions in the run-up to the 2005 WIPO Assemblies.

The proceedings of the seminar are available on CD-ROM from ipedd@wipo.int .

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