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SCP to Intensify Work on Several Patent-Related Issues

Geneva, March 30, 2009

The WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) agreed late Friday at the close of its week-long session from March 23 to 27, 2009, on a range of work items that will continue to clarify and focus attention on key substantive issues relating to patent law and practice. Delegations from 103 countries, 10 international organizations and 28 non-governmental organizations participated in the Committee which was chaired by Mr. Maximiliano Santa Cruz from Chile. 

The Committee reaffirmed that the non-exhaustive list of issues identified at its June 2008 meeting would remain open for further elaboration and discussion at its next session scheduled for November 9 to 13, 2009. It also decided to include two further issues in the list, namely “patents and the environment, with a particular attention to climate change and alternative sources of energy” and “patent quality management systems”. 
SCP members agreed that the four preliminary studies on standards and patentsexclusions from patentable subject matter and exceptions and limitations to the rights, the client-attorney privilege and dissemination of patent information which had been the subject of the week’s discussions, would remain open for further comments at its next meeting. In summarizing the work of the Committee, the Chair said that the SCP agreed to ask the secretariat to:
(a) commission external experts to prepare a study on exclusions, exceptions and limitations focused on, but not limited to, issues suggested by members, such as public health, education, research and experimentation and patentability of life forms, including from a public policy, socio-economic developmental perspective bearing in mind the level of economic development;
(b) prepare a concept paper on technical solutions to improve greater access to, and dissemination of, patent information;
(c) expand the preliminary study on the client-attorney privilege to reflect the current state of play taking into account the perspective of various stakeholders and using external experts, if necessary; and
(d) establish preliminary studies on “Transfer of Technology” and “Opposition Systems”.
It was also agreed that the secretariat would present the studies to member states at the beginning of the SCP’s November 2009 session.
A number of member states stressed the importance of encouraging broad engagement in the work of the Committee and requested availability of all studies in the six official UN languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. At present, SCP documents are prepared in English, French and Spanish.
Delegates further expressed their support for a Conference to be held on July 13 and 14, 2009, as suggested by the SCP at its June 2008 session. WIPO Director General, Mr. Francis Gurry, told the SCP that he was encouraged by the “positive and considerable interest” in this conference, which will serve as a global forum to discuss issues and solutions to some of the major challenges the world faces today. Consultations on the program of the Conference will be held with member states.
The Chair’s summary of the meeting is available at: https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=17448.
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