Meeting Recommends Future Course of Action for WIPO Work Program
Geneva, February 18, 2005
Press Updates UPD/2005/241
Geneva, February 18, 2005
MEETING RECOMMENDS FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION FOR WIPO WORK PROGRAM
The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr. Kamil Idris, expressed satisfaction this week at the outcome of informal consultations on the future work of WIPO's Standing Committee on Patents, which is working to build consensus on a treaty that seeks to harmonize patent laws around the world. Following a decision by WIPO member states in autumn 2004, the Director General of WIPO convened informal consultations concerning future sessions of the Standing Committee of Patents (SCP) in Casablanca, Morocco, on February 16, 2005.
“The Casablanca consultations were very positive and fruitful and resulted in a boost for the whole work program of WIPO, particularly, substantive patent law, traditional knowledge, folklore and issues related to genetic resources and the proposed WIPO Development Agenda,” Dr. Idris said. “The constructive approach taken during the consultations will, I believe, go a long way in resolving outstanding issues in all these important areas and demonstrates a commitment to multilateralism,” Dr. Idris added.
A copy of the statement adopted by participants at the end of the meeting is below:
Statement Adopted at the End of Informal Consultations
in Casablanca on February 16, 2005
1. Following the mandate given to him by the WIPO General Assembly in September 2004, the Director General of WIPO convened informal consultations concerning future sessions of the Standing Committee of Patents (SCP) in Casablanca, Morocco, on February 16, 2005. The consultations were attended by delegates from Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Russian Federation, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO), Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO), European Patent Office (EPO), African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the European Union. Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in India, chaired the consultations.
2. The consultations were held in a positive spirit. The delegates strongly endorsed the importance of multilateralism, in particular, in WIPO. The consultations resulted in the development of a proposed action plan for the near future.
3. There was broad agreement that the objectives of the future work program of the SCP should be to address issues with a view to improving the quality of granted patents, thus avoiding unwarranted encroachments on the public domain, and to reducing unnecessary duplication of work among Patent Offices, which should produce benefits by making the patent system more accessible and cost-effective.
4. In order to achieve these objectives, the meeting agreed that the following six issues should be addressed in an accelerated manner within WIPO with a view to progressive development and codification of international intellectual property law: prior art, grace period, novelty, inventive step, sufficiency of disclosure and genetic resources. These issues should be addressed in parallel, accelerated processes, the first four issues (prior art, grace period, novelty and inventive step) in the SCP and the other two issues (sufficiency of disclosure and genetic resources) in the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC). Each of the SCP and the IGC should agree on a timetable and report progress on the development of their discussions of the issues to the other.
5. The meeting underlined the importance of the continued active pursuit of discussions and work within WIPO on issues related to development and intellectual property so that a robust, effective and actionable WIPO Development Agenda could emerge.
6. The meeting recommended to the Director General of WIPO
(a) to call on Member States for proposals on the International Development Agenda for discussion at the April 2005 session of the Intersessional Intergovernmental Meeting (IIM),
(b) to convene the next session of the SCP in May 2005 to consider and endorse the objectives and work program set out above,
(c) to convene the next session of the IGC in June 2005 to consider and endorse the objectives and work program set out above, and
(d) to transmit the decisions of the above meetings to the General Assembly in September 2005 for its consideration, including a time frame for the conclusion of these issues within WIPO.
7. The meeting expressed its warm thanks and gratitude to the authorities of the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the consultations.
The delegate of Brazil did not associate himself with the foregoing text.
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