WIPO Member States Consider SCP Work Program

Geneva, April 13, 2006
Press Updates UPD/2006/270

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) met at an informal session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) in Geneva from April 10 to 12, 2006 to consider a work program for the Committee. Following the holding of an Open Forum on the draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT), held from March 1 to 3, 2006, this meeting was the second part of a procedure decided by WIPO member states at the 2005 WIPO General Assembly to establish a work program for the SCP.

Discussions at the meeting were very constructive and enabled delegations to arrive at a much clearer understanding of their respective positions and objectives for the work program of the SCP. The delegations were, however, unable to reach agreement on a work plan at this time and decided to refer the decision on the future work program of the SCP to the WIPO General Assembly.

All delegations acknowledged the importance of all the issues raised by the different delegations, and several useful contributions and proposals were submitted with a view to bridging the differences between, on the one hand, those who wanted a larger number of issues to be addressed on an equal footing by the SCP and, on the other hand, those who expressed a preference for an approach limited to fewer issues. While many delegations indicated flexibility in the course of discussions, the frank and open debate also revealed that some of the existing differences could not be resolved at this moment. Member states emphasized their support for the continuation of the work of the SCP, and concluded that it was premature to establish a work program for the SCP at this stage. They decided to refer the matter to the WIPO General Assembly at its meeting in September 2006.

The informal session of the SCP was attended by representatives from 76 member states, one observer state, 6 intergovernmental organizations and 19 non-governmental organizations.

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