Letters and Comment

June 2006

WIPO Magazine welcomes letters commenting on issues raised in Magazine articles, or on other developments in the field of intellectual property.

Letters should be marked "for publication in the WIPO Magazine" and addressed to The Editor at WipoMagazine@wipo.int or to the postal/fax address on the back cover of the Magazine. Please also include your postal address. We regret that it is not possible to publish all the letters we receive. The editor reserves the right to edit, shorten, or publish extracts from letters. The author will be consulted if substantial editing is required. 


Copyright for small creators - The Lion spreads the word

Thank you for authorizing the Intellectual Property Office of Papua New Guinea to distribute free copies of the article, The Return of the Lion (April 2006), as part of our public awareness campaign to illustrate the importance of copyright protection.  The current awareness program relates to regulating and assisting in the establishment of collective management organizations. Such organizations are a necessary component of the industry and may provide technical assistance to the small creator in Papua New Guinea. A point which the article subtly promotes is that the small creator cannot stand against the entertainment giants without technical assistance.

Your readers in the field of copyright, especially from developing countries, may be interested to know that the IP Office of Papua New Guinea intends to introduce a monitoring system, whereby users of copyright works may lose their respective business operating licenses as a penalty for nonpayment of creators’ royalties.

From Jonathan Amnol, Legal Officer
Intellectual Property Office, Investment Promotion Authority , P apua New Guinea


Consolidating the digital music revolution

Your news report on the boom in online and mobile music sales (MIDEM - Music Industry Cheered by Digital Sales, Jan/Feb 2006) reflects the growing variety and diversity of new media outlets.

As online and mobile music become part of the fabric of our everyday lives, the pressure is fairly and squarely on content and copyright owners to consolidate negotiations and licensing on a country-wide or, even better, regional or global basis. This will simplify the licensing process and reduce the barriers to entry for multimedia companies, without whom the industry will suffocate and die.

We look forward to WIPO's playing an active role, in conjunction with the international recording industry association IFPI, and local associations, publishers and regulators, in managing the transition from a pure-play physical retail world, to a more centralized environment where the market determines price, where consumers own what they buy and can enjoy and personalize their entertainment in whatever format, and at whatever time, they desire.

So what are the ingredients for this free-flowing, dynamic and laissez-faire environment?

  • technology infrastructure which is inexpensive, uncapped and readily available to consumers;
  • flexible pricing for content;
  • a universe of interoperable music devices with high storage capacities and high fidelity; and
  • a regulatory environment which is consistent and universal.

And how close are we? As Dusty Springfield aptly put it: Little by little, bit by bit...

From Sudhanshu Sarronwala, CEO,  Soundbuzz , Singapore


Combating counterfeit - time for more creative thinking?

I write in response to your article on counterfeiting and piracy (Recent Challenges for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, April 2006). Nobody would dispute that counterfeiting and piracy are serious problems for the rightful owners of IP. They cannot be allowed to run unchecked, and there will always be a need for enforcement. But perhaps the time has come to be more creative in searching for alternative approaches.

Among counterfeiting and piracy operations there is a vast pool of technical and entrepreneurial talent. Successful counterfeiters demonstrate ingenuity, manufacturing skills, marketing and distribution capabilities. They invest in machinery and equipment and employ a large number of people. But they operate on the wrong side of the law. My question is whether there might not be scope for efforts aimed at attracting skilled pirates and counterfeiters out of the black economy and into legal operation? As well as offering amnesties or other incentives to counterfeiters, such efforts might include incentives to encourage IP owners to find creative, low-cost licensing solutions, which would allow the (former) counterfeiters to put their business on a legitimate footing.

After all, Unilever makes many brands of laundry detergent other than OMO, and lets these brands "compete" in the market. Why not add "AMO" to the collection?

From Richard Lennane, Geneva, Switzerland.


Who invented the airplane?

Your article about the creation of the airplane (The Flying Machine - One Hundred Years On, November/December 2005) talks about the Wright Brothers but overlooks the Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos Dumont. His aircraft, Oiseau de proie ("bird of prey") is considered to be the first to take off, fly, and land without the use of catapults, high winds, launch rails, or other external assistance. So we consider Santos Dumont to be the Father of Aviation and the true inventor of the airplane.

From Marcelo Tredinnick. Patent Division,
National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI), Brazil


Avian flu and patents - more like this

Kudos to the WIPO Magazine with a New Look. The contents are interesting and enjoyable to read. The format is rich and pleasing.

As a patents manager in the pharmaceutical sector, I found the information on avian flu drugs and the patent situation (Avian Flu Drugs: Patent Questions, April 2006) really useful. Particularly the details regarding the Oseltamivir patent, its licensing situation and details of licence holders, flexibilities within international IP Laws, and details regarding countries which do not have patent for Oseltamivir. I am looking forward to having more such good articles.

From M.A.Ganapathy, IPR Patents Manager,
Natco Pharma Limited, Hyderabad, India

The WIPO Magazine is intended to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work, and is not an official document of WIPO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WIPO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of the Member States or the WIPO Secretariat. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WIPO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.