WIPO Member States End Assemblies with Key Agreements on Future Work
October 11, 2017
WIPO member states concluded their annual Assemblies meetings with key agreements that affirm the work of the Organization in advancing an effective and balanced intellectual property system.
In closing remarks to the October 2-11 Assemblies meetings, Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the spirt of engagement by member states, saying: “I think that the results have been very positive. You, the member states, have given us, the Secretariat, the basis for going forward with the work of the organization. And I thank you for that confidence.”
“It’s true that the discussions are becoming more and more intense in the field of intellectual property, but there is a very positive side to that, which is the growing interest in the field of intellectual property and innovation and creativity,” he said.
The membership agreed on a program and budget for the 2018-2019 biennium that foresees a 10.9% increase in revenue from growing demand for WIPO’s global IP-filing and other services, without an increase in user fees. Spending growth will be contained at 2.7% and no new staff posts are planned.
As part of the program and budget for the 2018/19 biennium, member states approved special funding for capital investments to ensure that WIPO is able to carry out its mandate, with a particular emphasis on strengthening information and communication technology.
Member states also agreed to consider opening up to four external offices for 2018/2019, including in Colombia, expanding the organization’s network of overseas offices.
In addition, member states agreed on a renewed two-year mandate for negotiations on intellectual property and traditional knowledge, folklore and genetic resources, as well as the work plan for the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore for the biennium.
Closing the session, the Chair of the General Assembly, Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš, who is also the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, thanked delegates.
In opening the Assemblies on October 2, Mr. Gurry issued a written report on WIPO’s achievements in the previous year and, in an opening address to delegates, sketched out some possible future paths for the organization.
During the Assemblies, Indonesia joined the international trademark system as its 100th member, while Nigeria joined four copyright-related treaties, among other activities.
WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry, represented by the IFPMA, launched a new partnership to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.
Delegates enjoyed a series of symposia, exhibits and performances sponsored by member states during the WIPO Assemblies, including the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, Mexico and Paraguay.
Wrap-up of main decisions
Member states, in their respective Assemblies and other bodies (following agenda order):
- Took note of reports by the Independent Advisory Oversight Committee, the External Auditor and Director of the Internal Oversight Division.
- Appointed as WIPO External Auditor Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General of the United Kingdom, for a period of six years to begin on January 1, 2018.
- Approved the Program and Budget for 2018/19, with projected expenditure of 726 million Swiss francs, representing an increase of 2.7 per cent over the previous two-year period. Revenue for the same period is expected to increase by about 10.9 per cent, to 830 million Swiss francs, with a projected surplus of approximately 65 million Swiss francs after estimated adjustments required under International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), to be largely used to build financial reserves to a more secure level.
- Approved the Capital Master Plan for the Organization for the period 2018 to 2027. Funding amounting to a total of 25.5 million Swiss francs was approved for the 2018/19 biennium. The approval of the projects under the Capital Master Plan will ensure the timely planning of required capital investments to ensure that WIPO remains fit for purpose and is able to carry out its mandate, ensures a reduction in the need for reactive and emergency repairs, and the elimination or mitigation of environmental, security, health and/or safety risks.
- Decided that the 2018 General Assembly will consider opening up to four External Offices for 2018/2019, including in Colombia.
- Took note of the report of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) and directed it to continue its work, including on broadcasting, limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives, limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and persons with disabilities other than visual impairment, the artist’s resale right, and analysis of copyright related to the digital environment.
- Took note of the report of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP).
- Took note of the reporton the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) .
- Decided that the 2018 General Assembly will continue to consider the convening of a diplomatic conference for the adoption of a design law treaty to develop simplified standards for industrial design registration procedures to take place at the end of the first half of 2019;
- Took note of the report on the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) and review of the implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendations, while voicing appreciation of the resolution of two long standing issues - the implementation of the CDIP mandate and the implementation of the Coordination Mechanisms and Monitoring, Assessing and Reporting Modalities.
- Agreed on the renewal of the mandate of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) for the 2018-2019 biennium, as well as the work plan for the IGC for the biennium. According to the mandate agreed upon, the IGC will continue to expedite its work with the objective of reaching an agreement on an international legal instrument(s), without prejudging the nature of outcome(s), relating to intellectual property which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
- Took note of the report of the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS), including the adoption of two new standards: for the greater clarity in the exchange of patent legal status data in a standardized manner; and concerning the authority file of published patent documents to ensure the completeness of the patent collection of a given country.
- Took note of the report by the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), which enabled member states to exchange and build upon each other’s practices on institutional arrangements on IP enforcement policies and regimes, awareness raising, as well as the legislative assistance and capacity building provided by WIPO in the area of IP enforcement and building respect for IP.
- Appointed the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
- Extended the appointment of the present International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) until the end of 2027.
- Adopted amendments to the Schedule of Fees in the PCT Regulations to clarify that the fee reductions available to applicants from certain countries are intended to apply only in the case where the applicants indicated in the request are the sole and true owners of the application and under no obligation to assign, grant, convey or license the rights in the invention to another party which is not eligible for the fee reduction.
- Took note of the report on the Madrid System Goods and Services Database.
- Adopted the Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (their entry into force, including the relevant Schedule of Fees, will coincide with the entry into force of the Geneva Act), and extended the mandate of the Working Group to further discuss development of the Lisbon System, including possible solutions for its financial sustainability.
- Noted developments in the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center’s provision of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, including new partnerships with intellectual property authorities in a number of member states for the promotion of ADR options, as well as the publication of a significant update of the Center’s jurisprudential overview of WIPO domain name decisions.
- Took note of the “Cooperation under the Agreed Statements by the Diplomatic Conference Regarding the Patent Law Treaty.”
- Took note of the status of the Marrakesh Treaty over the past year and encouraged the Secretariat to continue providing substantial support for member states to join and implement the Marrakesh Treaty.
- Decided to exceptionally approve the implementation of the age limit for retirement at 65 for staff recruited before January 1, 2014, to take effect from January 1, 2020. This would maintain WIPO’s competitiveness and ensure its compliance with treaty obligations.
- Took noteof the report by the Ethics Office.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
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