Decisions of the Program and Budget Committee
WIPO Member States, meeting in the Program and Budget Committee (PBC) from January 11-13, took a number of decisions relating to the work of the Organization.
The PBC accepted the proposal that the recommendations of the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) on budget transfers should be adapted to the specific needs of WIPO, and that this decision should not be applied before the 2008/09 biennium, and until after the completion of the desk-to-desk review of WIPO’s human and financial resources.
Member States also agreed that work should start on a draft comprehensive review of WIPO’s Financial Rules and Regulations for submission to its April 2007 session. The secretariat briefed the PBC on the actions taken since the September 2005 Assemblies on other JIU recommendations, most of which have now been implemented. (The JIU recommendations were part of the report carried out in early 2005 entitled "Review of Management and Administration in WIPO: Budget, Oversight and Related Issues.")
Following the decision of the 2005 WIPO Assemblies, the PBC conducted a preliminary discussion on ways to further involve Member States in the preparation and follow-up of the Organization’s program and budget, and welcomed the document prepared by the Secretariat as a useful basis for further work. The PBC agreed that the Secretariat should convene two rounds of informal consultations and a session of the PBC in order to identify a mechanism to be submitted for approval at the 2006 WIPO Assemblies.
The secretariat briefed the PBC on action taken since the 2005 Assemblies to restart the WIPO new construction project, including arrangements for the project management, the establishment of a Selection Board comprised of Member States representatives, and the plans for the various tenders to be run in connection with the project. The PBC agreed that the Audit Committee should consider the organizational chart of the project prior to the meeting of the Selection Board scheduled for January 16.
The PBC elected seven independent expert members – from China, Jordan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Togo and the United Kingdom – to serve on the Audit Committee from among candidates nominated by Member States. The Audit Committee is expected to meet shortly to commence its work and to elect its two remaining members who, in accordance with the Committee’s terms of reference, should be senior oversight professionals or senior managers, one of whom should be from the UN system.
New Work on Trademarks and Industrial Designs
At a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), held from November 28 to December 2, 2005, WIPO Member States identified a number of topics for future consideration.
At its previous meeting in April 2005, the SCT had invited members and observers to suggest topics on which the Committee should concentrate its future work. In response to that invitation, 14 members of the SCT raised relevant issues. After a full debate on the various proposals, the SCT decided to consider in more detail the following topics:
- Non-traditional trademarks, such as single color marks, sound, movement or shape marks; and, in particular, how such trademarks are registered and published, if at all.
- The relationship between trademarks, industrial designs and copyright, and the overlap between these different types of protection.
- Trademark opposition procedures, which are becoming ever more important as numbers of trademark applications continue to increase.
- Industrial design registration procedures and procedures for the protection of state emblems under Article 6 ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
The Organization will prepare working documents on these issues for consideration at the next session of the SCT, which will provide the basis for future deliberations.
The SCT also reviewed the results of a survey on trademark law and practice, in which more than 70 Member States had participated. The survey was based on a questionnaire containing 369 questions on the trademark laws and administrative office practices of Member States. The main purpose of the survey was to identify issues which could be addressed at the international level relating to the future development of international trademark law. The returned questionnaires offered some 22,000 responses, which were compiled into a summary document.
The SCT decided that this document (SCT/14/5 Rev.) should continue to be available to the public and be updated periodically.
[The Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Revised Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) will take place in Singapore from March 13 to 31.]