[Ip-health] IP-Watch: Members Concerned Over WIPO 2014/2015 Programme, Budget; New Treaties On The Way

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun Jul 14 23:43:54 PDT 2013


Members Concerned Over WIPO 2014/2015 Programme, Budget; New Treaties On
The Way

Published on 14 July 2013 @ 11:57 pm


Normative issues were also sensitive, as WIPO Director General Francis
Gurry said the agency anticipates possible treaties in about four
areas, including: copyright for broadcasters; an update to design law; and
a revision of the Lisbon Agreement on the International Registration
of Appellations of Origin. It also includes an instrument or instruments on
the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural
expressions (folklore), and genetic resources. In addition, it will make a
priority of carrying forward the newly completed treaty on copyright
exceptions and limitations for the blind and other print-disabled.

Missing from the treaty list, however, is work on copyright limitations and
exceptions, such as for libraries, archives and research institutions. This
is more likely seen as maturing for high-level treaty negotiations in the
next biennium, 2016-2017.

In the proposal for 2014-2015, Gurry painted a somber picture of the global
economy, and established a framework for prudent spending. But he gave the
positive news that the proposed budget envisions and increase in income.
WIPO is planning for income and spending of roughly CHF 700 million Swiss
francs, essentially breaking even, but preserving the organisation’s target
minimum reserve funds of CHF 120 million.

WIPO generates most of its income from fees paid by users of the
intellectual property systems it manages, such as the Patent
Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Less than 10 percent comes from governments (and
assessments on governments are not proposed to rise in the next biennium).

Income in the current biennium (which ends on 31 December 2013) was
originally projected to be CHF 647 million Swiss francs, but is
now foreseen as closer to CHF 683 million Swiss francs.



Other issues of importance included debates over work of WIPO on innovation
and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which failed most of its
performance measures and is in line for trimming. The innovation work is
led by officials within WIPO from the United States, and the US delegation
argued for its continued full funding to give it more time to demonstrate
its effectiveness. Members discussed the issue at length and the
secretariat will “provide additional information and a revised proposal,
taking into account the alternatives proposed and comments arising from the
discussion,” as stated in the chair’s summary.

Global Issues

On the work at WIPO referred to as Global Issues – essentially tying IP
rights to bigger global issues such as food security, climate change, and
public health – some developing countries demanded more information about
the secretive programme. They also want it tied to a committee where
members can have more say in its work and give it more transparency. The
Global Issues initiative is led by developed country biotechnology and
pharmaceutical industry operatives, providing their expertise.

Group B developed countries said they do not want global issues tied to a
committee. Brazil countered that it is not possible to have a substantive
discussion on global issues in the packed Program and Budget Committee. It
was suggested that the secretariat provide a short written report on global

One part of the programme that WIPO has been promoting actively is WIPO
Re:Search, which encourages licensing of patented health compounds,
technologies and know-how for neglected diseases.

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