WIPO To Host Meetings On Intellectual Property And Development

Geneva, April 6, 2005
Media Alerts MA/2005/18

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host a series of meetings in April and May 2005 on intellectual property and development.

The meetings were decided by the WIPO General Assembly in early October 2004. The decision followed a discussion by the General Assembly on a proposal originally presented by Argentina and Brazil -(https://www.wipo.int/documents/en/document/govbody/wo_gb_ga/doc/wo_ga_31_12.doc). The proposal was subsequently co-sponsored by 12 other countries, namely Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, and Venezuela.

The proposal listed specific actions to incorporate the development dimension in WIPO's various activities. Following the General Assembly debate, member states adopted a decision "to convene inter-sessional intergovernmental meetings to examine the proposals contained" in the Argentina/Brazil proposal, "as well as additional proposals of member states." The General Assembly decided that the meetings would also be open to WIPO accredited inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A report on these meetings will be presented to the General Assembly for its consideration when it meets in September 2005. The decision also called on WIPO to organize, with other relevant multilateral organizations, an international seminar on intellectual property and development, open to all stakeholders, including NGOs, civil society and academia.

The Inter-sessional Intergovernmental Meeting on a Development Agenda for WIPO (IIM) will meet at WIPO's headquarters in Geneva from April 11-13, 2005 (documents available at https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=7522). This meeting will consider the original proposal submitted by the aforementioned countries, as well as proposals by other member states, which for the time being have come from Mexico (entitled "Intellectual Property and Development") and the United States of America (entitled "Establishment of a Partnership Program in WIPO").

Participation at the IIM was clearly defined in the General Assembly decision of October 4, 2004 which is available at https://www.wipo.int/documents/en/document/govbody/wo_gb_ga/doc/wo_ga_31_15.doc (page 68) and states that "WIPO-accredited IGOs and NGOs are invited to participate as observers in the meetings." The WIPO secretariat has taken note of non-accredited NGOs that have requested to participate in the IIM, on an ad hoc basis. To date, 19 requests have been received. Any departure from the original General Assembly decision on this question rests firmly within the hands of the member states.

It should be noted that any NGO can seek permanent accreditation at WIPO by simply filling out an application form. This request is submitted to WIPO's member states for consideration at their annual General Assemblies meetings in October. Some 260 IGOs and NGOs already have observer status at WIPO.

WIPO's Permanent Committee on Cooperation for Development Related to Intellectual Property will meet on April 14 and 15, 2005 (documents available at https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=7524). The PCIPD would review the current directions and priorities in WIPO's cooperation activities for developing countries. These activities today concentrate on assisting developing countries to formulate appropriate national intellectual property policies and strategies in supporting development goals as well as in creating business opportunities for innovators and creators. The PCIPD would also give advice and suggestions on future work and activities in these areas.

The International Seminar on Intellectual Property and Development, which is co-organized by WIPO with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held on May 2 and 3, 2005 and is open to all interested parties, including the press. The Seminar will discuss policy and operational issues relating to intellectual property and development and provide an international forum where practitioners, academia, consultants, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and the wider public may exchange information, experiences and views on the subject. The program is available at https://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=7523.

For more information, please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs section at WIPO: Tel: + 41 22 338 8161 or 338 95 47; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.