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Meeting Notes from Day One of the WIPO's Development Meeting

We're in Geneva at the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO's) first big meeting on intellectual property and the "Development Agenda." That's right: the world's premiere IP-expansionists are considering the radical proposal that more rightsholder protections aren't always in the best interests of developing nations. Several copyfighters have been taking collaborative notes all day inside the cavernous main hall, and you check out the transcript after the jump.

Also see Pedro de Parangua Moniz's notes from today

11 April, 2005

Notes by:

Thiru Balasubramaniam, thiru [at], Consumer Project on Technology


Gwen Hinze, gwen [at], Electronic Frontier Foundation [GH]

Ren Bucholz, ren [at], Electronic Frontier Foundation [RB]

[NOTE: This is not an official transcript.  Any errors or ommissions are



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[RB: This is the administrative portion, where leadership for the

meeting is formed]

Geoffrey Yu (WIPO):  Proceed to Agenda Item two; nomination of officers

Jamaica:  On behalf of GRULAC-we would like to nominate the Ambassador

of Paraguay.

Czech Republic:  Second, and also nominate Bulgaria as vice-chair

China: We would like to support the nomination by the delegation of

Jamaica for Paraguay and Bulgaria is vice-chair

Geoffrey Yu (WIPO):  Permanent representative (PR) of Paraguay is chair;

PR of Bulgaria is vice-chair

Paraguay (Chair): Efficiency starts off with brevity. Move to item 3:

adoption of agenda

Jamaica (GRULAC): We would like to add an agenda item on a substantive

report and an item on the inclusion of NGOs.


Chair:  There is agreement among regional coordinators on having a

substantive report.  There's also agreement among regional coordinators

on the accreditation of 17 NGOs at the first IIM.

[RB: Wow! This is great news - WIPO had initially indicated that groups

that aren't accredited wouldn't be able to participate.  As a result,

EFF & other groups extended their delegation to include organizations

that have a lot to say about the developing world but had not yet

received accreditation.]

Jamaica: With that clarification we do not need an amendment.

India: The preparation of this document should be done before the end of

this session; then the delegations can comment to formalize final document.

Chair: The report that I will prepare will discuss future work.  The

factual report that the IB will prepare will be transmitted to

delegations.  I will prepare a seperate report on future work.

Argentina: We're not clear about the distinction between factual reports

and substantive reports?  We agree that the chairman's statement's

report should not be binding; but "future work" report should be done

with Member States.  C's report should be factual in nature.

Jamaica: This is an issue important with GRULAC.  Important that the

substantive report on IIM report be adotped.  If not enough time, on

wendesday it could be adopted at next IIM, But a factual report must be


Brazil: We would like to speak in the same line as the rep from GRULAC

and Argentina. We would like to follow usual UIPO procedure that IIM

conclude with a  draft report. We read item 6 as "summary by chair" not

report, but it has no legal status.  Item on future work is a

substantive isssue to be  dealt with by countries. We want inclusion of

draft report.  If there is a time constraint for adoption we would

sonsider a preliminary draft.

Chair: International Bureau secretariat will prepare factual report.

The report that I prepare will be the reflection of consutations with

delegations; it will deal with future work (item 5).  Is this acceptable?

India: We are somewhat at a loss to grapple the nuance of your most

recent statement with respect to your previous statement given the

interventions of several delegations.  (TB: What's the difference).  For

example, adoption of WIPO report from last General Assembly meeting

still has to be adopted by Member States at the next Assembly because it

was reworked to add interventions of delegates and took several months

to appeaer on WIPO's website. However, it would be useful to put a

detailed summary before delegates to allow them to review it. That

should be done quickly when issues are still fresh in delegates' minds.

China: We are willing to support work of the Chairman.

Argentina:  Probably don't need chair's summary; it can be reflected in

the report.  We could include it in the agenda.

Brazil:  I would like to include an adoption of draft report.  Let us

stick with usual practice.

Chair: add new item 7 - adoption of draft report.

Italy (on behalf of Group B): Welcome decision on ad-hoc accreditation

of NGOs; but on the understanding that this should not be a precedent

and we will encourage them to apply for permanent acccreditation.

Legal Counsel (Edward Kwakwa):  Named 17 names of NGOs who applied for

and have now been granted  ad-hoc accreditation for the first IIM.

Item 4 - Substantive Proposals

Chair:  Listed four proposals

Brazil (Group of Friends of Development - FOD):  Highlight that this

document is supported by 14 Member States.  Recall WIPO General Assembly

proposal.  Development Agenda concerning ip issu

New document is not a subsitute for previous doucment but

complementary.  It is lengthy. Not exhaustive document.  Further

developt 4 aspects of our proposals from last year.  All of the 14

countries have reserved the right to further elaborate on different


It is both conceptual and pragmatic.  It contains conceptual

elaborations-development concerns broaden ip system-broaden and

strengthen WIPO's role-give WIPO a more development oriented

focus-issues in this documents affect Southern constitutencies,

academics, NGOs.  This document is a platform for substantive debate on

WIPO.  This is why we welcome ad hoc accreditation of NGOs.  Document

also contains concrete proposals-we welcome constructive engagement from

other WIPO Member States.

FOD-relationship between development and intellectual property.  How is

development affected by enforcement and implementation of ip

agreements.  We could work on a consensual outcome that we could forward

to the General Assembly.  We resist attempts to fragmentize the


Central element; broad perspective on relationship between IP and

devleopment. We seek to keep this proposal before the IIM. It is

important that this proposal be treated holistically; it's not

appropriate to separate out aspects of it, but we have broken it into

sections to allow for discussion of the 4 elements

1) Mandate and Governance-we support a more "UN" agency type role for

WIPO-We support openness and transparency - all voices should be heard

at WIPO, including IGOs and NGOs

2) Norm-setting: -development oriented benchmar Norm-setting should not

be seperated from development.

3) Technical assistance

4) Technology Transfer

We want this item to be permanently on the agenda at WIPO; we want this

to be cross-cutting-development should not be subordinated to a

subsidiary body.

Argentina (FOD):  Second part refers to revision of WIPO's mandate and

governance.   FOD believes WIPO's mandate can be clarified through an

amendment of a development dimension as part of WIPO's mission.  Lack of

leadership on part of WIPO's member states on where DD should included.

FOD believes that DD should be incorporated into WIPO's programmes and


1) Create WERO (independent office)-independent and transparent

mechanism to evaluate programmes-similar programmes exist in World Bank

and other agencies-adopt measures to include NGOs-PAC and IPAC should be

determined by Member States

2) Norm setting-norms on intellectual creativity and technological transfer-

WIPO should pursue more balanced approach. Develop norms that reflect

development dimensions in all work.

We believe UK (IPR Commission)

This should be guided by guidelines:

Tech assistance should be based on devleopment provision-level of

development of each recipient state

Make full use of flexibilites

Remedy anti-competitive practices

3) Technical assistance should be neutral and non-discrimanatory

Tech assistance should be reviewed independently

Next GA should adopt principles we've listed in our proposal, should

establish database for website listing all tech assistancer

Seperate norm-setting from tech assistance

Commence work on indicators and benchmarks for evaluation

4) Technology transfer

See paragraphs 87,88 and 97 of our proposal for principles for tech

transfer and dissemination

Chair: other delegates should look at the FOD proposal and comment on

it. We had a belated start so no coffee .

USA:  Paul Salmon (USPTO) US Welcomes full transparency of WIPO

proceedings.  Support ad hoc accreditation for 17 NGOs but encourage

NGOs to apply for permanent obsevers. Simple procedure outlined on

WIPO's website. Outlined requirements - including must identify how NGOs

can establish that they speak for their members.

IP protection plays an important and positive role in development.  IP

is only part of the solution. More needs to be done but not the domain

of WIPO-WIPO should focus on IP- UN does not need any new development

agencies.-WIPO's current legal structures - including the standing

committees -  provide ample room to tackle development issues.

There is much support from WIPO from developed and developing countries.

We would not want to change WIPO if it risked their support.

We agree that IP is an important means of development.  US paper is not

a rebuttal of FOD-it's not just about technical assistance.  We have no

agenda to  diminish WIPO's tech assistance.  Our partnerhsip proposal

will allow WIPO to  partner with developing countries and developed

countries and NGOs to create synergies.

There is a need for better co-ordination of development resources. WIPO

tech assistance should be more relevant and meaningful to the needs of

DCs and LDCs.

Mexico:  IP is a tool for economic development. We recognize the work

already being done by other agencies but it is necessary to supplement

for promoting IP.Lack of knowledge of the IP system has sometimes

generated tensions in developing countries. Our proposal seeks to have

WIPO disseminate information on IP system but we don't support the

creation of new bodies for development. That won't achieve the goal of

streamlining WIPO's activities.

UK:We welcome the spectrum and breadth of attendees at this important

meeting. The starting point for our proposal is that IP isa tool that

allows economic and technical development. The UK in 2001 took the

intiative of establishing the IPR Commission to investigate how IP can

be integrated with development because we believe that IP can lead to

sustainable economic and technical development.

Co-operation must be transparent and planned. We welcome the US and

Mexico proposals on these points. It must also be accountable - we have

read the FOD proposaland agree that it one model but not the only one.

We should not create other bodies but use member government's knowledge

of IP to facilitate tech transfer.  We see technical assistance in a

broad sense.  Technical Assistance should be demand driven and

transparence.  Harmonization is not necessarily the enemy of development

if it takes account of differences in levels of development. Cornerstone

of UN/WIPO agreement is tech transfer.

Chair: opening floor to regional co-ordinators.

Singapore (Asian Group) :Supports FOD proposal; good basis for

constructive dialogue for IIM. Mainstreaming development dimension into

all WIPO's work is imperative, consistent with other UN bodies-IP is not

an end in itself. One size fits all approach not appropriate. -public

policy consideration-policy space respect-espically when developing

countries have obligations.WIPO tech assistance needs to consider costs

of IP not just benefits. Asian Group stands behind a balance

IP-stimulate creativity, innovation and research.

And in his role as Co-ordinator of ASEAN countries: -We work together

with WIPO - we established the WIPO - ASEAN Ambassadors annual dialogue

in 1993. We recognize and appreciate WIPO's work on development -

dialogue, business/ IP co-operation, national workshops aimed at

capacity building, thematic resource work.IP for development remains an

important objective of the Director General's  vision.  ASEAN looks

forward to step up cooperation with WIPO.

Italy (Group B) Happy to see so many NGOs seeking participation.

Important to remember that IP can serve as economic driver. UN

MIllennium Declaration has been part of WIPO's mission since inception.

Must look espectially at needs of developing countries. Time for urgent

stock-taking of WIPO's technical assistance-is it appropriate for

recipient countries. Need more research into country-specific IP work.

Could WIPO work with other organizations? Group B agreed in 2004 that it

would work with others. Adquately protecting IP is necessary to turn

ideas into useful work.

Jamaica (GRULAC): Congratulations on your elections.  IP system is an

imporant part of National Economic Development.  However, WIPO must

address concerns of developing countries at all levels. Mandates that

start with the increase of IP must take into account LDC needs. Doha Dev

Agenda, Sao Paolo Consensus, Monterey Consensus, Johannesburg

Consensus.  DA is not just about technical assistance. Also

norm-setting. Recognizes steps taken by WIPO.  Benefit of

Extra-budgetary resources but results sometimes can be unreliable and

unstainable (tech assistance).

Chair: Countries that wish to speak-Morocco, Czech Republic, China,

Pakistan, S. Africa, Boliva, Switzerland, Egypt, Iran, Niger, Nigeria




Afternoon issues

Chair: to move things forward, we'll be talking to regional coordinators.

Brazil: we are concerned about this. Our proposal has 14 country

sponsors. We don't beleive it's possible to discuss substantive issues

with RCs.

Chair: clarification - will only be discussing procedural issues.

India: We are behind on substantive matters; regional coordinators have

limited mandates.  Given shortage of time; it might not be efficacious

to set aside time to meet from this session.  We would not advise to set

aside time; Member States do not delegate authority to regional

coordinators on substantive issues.

Morocco (African Group):  We support in principle the proposal for

establishment of Development Agenda.  It is ambitious agenda.  IP should

not be considered an end in itself. Need to take account of different

levels of development, balance general public rights and

rightsholders.Faciliattion of tech transfer and capacity bldg.

Assessment of costs of implementation.   It is incumbent on WIPO to

assist in tech transfer (Arti 7-8)-and in accordance with WIPO-UN


We welcome the US proposal-reinforce tech cooperation activities of

WIPO.  It assumes infracstructural access to internet.  but digital

divide exists. Not all the oucntries have access. WIPO has shown

commitment (WIPONET).

Welcome Munich Group B comminique-para 3

Czech Republic (Central European and Baltic States):  Thanks to Int

Bureaus for organizing mtgs. Want to underline importance of

strengthening IP for development for members of goup. Appreciate

assistance of WIPO in development-related activities. Providing tech

assistance and training, institutional capacity bldg but there is room

for improvement. Should have high level of transparency, and include

full range of participants. WIPO activities should meet concerns of

developing countries and meet needs of LDCs. IP is important tool for

development so long as takes account of different levels of development.

China: Devlt is Daunting challenges in the new millennium. Given that

WIPO is a UN agency has obligation to consider impact of IP on

development. WIPO shouldn't concentrate only on tech assistance. In

identiffying priorites and in norm-setting, WIPO should take account of

developed. Norm-setting should take account of real capacity for member

states; must be realistic, otherwise IP by itself insufficient for

development. China hopes that secretariat will provide member states

with highly transparent information as well as time to consider it, to

promote discussion and dialogue.

Benin (Representing LDC's):

We would like development to be incorporated into all programmes of

WIPO.  TRIPS negotiations; IP should be made into a development tool.

Luxembourg (EU):

EU looks forward to take part in this debate.  EU has always said IP is

not an end in itself.  IP can help achieve the UN Millennium development

goals.  Many factors play here environmental, social, economic

development.  WIPO promotes IP in balanced fashion - this system of IP

cannot secure the developmentt goals.

Developing countries play greater role at WIPO.  EU would like to make

some observations-Part 5 tech transfer-these agreements must stimulate

exchange of knowledge: "efficient tech transfer"

On Part 6 (of GFoD?): Implementation of IP rights-must contribute

economic, social and cultural benefit.  Want to "encourage national

culture of IP"

Part 7: EU convived that strategic cooperation must be targeted.  More

must be done in technical assistance.  Technical assistance should be

appropriate to level of development and specific needs of countries.

Also, they fully embrace UK proposal.


WIPO has given assistance and Nigeria has benefitted.  Associates itself

with GFoD proposal.

South Africa:

Wishes to associate itself fully with Brazil & Argentina proposal [RB:

the Global Friends of Development proposal]

The development dimension must be incorporated into WIPO, and it must be

reflected in future treaties.  Like many other international agencies it

needs to be guided by the broader development agenda of the United Nations.

South Africa believes that IP has an important role to play and WIPO has

a signifcant role to paly in ensuring that IP rules support

development.  Our experience is that North-South activites have proceed,

but there is a loack of understanding of implcations.  The GFoD proposal

calls for an independedent evidence-based impact assesment.  Techincal

assistance can't be "technical assistance" can't be equated with

Development.  The GFoD proposal explains our key points.

We won't support *any* formulation that views technical support as the

only method of development.

[RB: meaning that they also want to see technology transfer (moving

help, governance (reforming WIPO as an institution), norm-setting

(respecting locally appropriate policies)]


Associates with statement by GRULAC - looking for proper balance between

interests of developed & developing nations

Supports push for NGOs to participate in this proceeding, and believe

that it will enrich the dialogue


Congratulations on your elections.  We give full support to the

statement given by Italy on behalf of Group B.

We have an opportunity today to have a discussions on the basis of 4

specific proposals on the role of IP on development.  More than ever

before-my delegation is convinced that IP has a central role to play in

economic, social, cultural development

However, IP alone cannot provide entirety of the development of a

country and an end to poverty.  To achieve this, each country must

undertake joint action.

Believes in: dev. of human resources, rule of law, stable economic

policies, application of rules that support competition

All the activities undertaken by WIPO on "development" are fully in line

with UN goals and within the specific terms of WIPO's mandate as a

specialized UN agency.  We are surprised therefore to read that WIPO

must establish a development agenda; it already exists.

Believes that WIPO should simply work with other groups that already

exist to refine their current trajectory - wants a "pragmatic" approach

that examines outcomes

Delegation wants to examine these proposals in further detail to

understand the financial obligations these proposals may entail.  We

look forward to play a constructive and active role in these deliberations.

Dominican Republic:

We would like to voice support the Group of Friends Of Development

(GFOD) proposal.

Discussion of 4 aspects in GFoD proposal -  Dominican thinks this is a

very innovative and creative proposal. Would like to highlight

principles on technical cooperation.  We Support the  proposal to

separate the international secretariat from WIPO's role in norm-setting.

Proposes the creation of a new body with members from other UN

organizations. Will conduct evaluation and research on IP as tool of



One of the central purposes of gov't is to enhance individuals' ability

to actualize through access to knowledge.  We need greater emphasis on:

flexibility & strengthening of agencies to review effects of policies

that expand rights


1. Establish permanent space for discussion of IPR - not just accepting

& expanding it

2. [RB: missed this one]

3. Form strategy for working with other agencies at the U.N.

On U.S. proposal, Chile expresses gratitude and agrees that it tackles

only one aspect of development.  However, and contrary to what the doc

said, inefficient use of U.N. resources is likely to occur.

On Mexican proposal - grateful, but believe that there should be broader


       - not just protection, but also exceptions & limitations, etc.

       - shouldn't think that more IP is better for development

On UK - thanks, and believes that this is the kind of proposal & spirit

that they need


Shares the view that IP is important

in both DCs & LDCs effective, balanced & flexible IP is important

WIPO's primary function is to provide IP expertise within the context of

the UN.

WIPO should reflect needs of all members, & note a positive response

from LDCs - In particular, must approach this in comparative & balanced


Since resources are finite, should consider prioritizing concerns -

pragmatic proposals with outcomes should come first


Congratulations on your election and that of the vice-chair.  We

associate ourself with the statement of Singapore on behalf of the Asian

group.  We also note the four proposals submitted (that's UK, US,

Mexico, GFoD).

The core issue at the heart of this debate is to ensure that IP system

effective policy space appropriate to their own level of development.

In particular flexibility-they should not be rendered inoperable by

multiple caveats

Other issues raised are not importance - for instance, discussing WIPO's

mandate is only important if it blocks discussion of "substantive"

issues (RB: discussing WIPO mandate would be a "sterile excercise" !?)

US suggestions should be seriously considered.  Policy space should not

be considered in an abstract manner.

Three clusters of concerns

1) Impact of IP on prices of medicines, textbooks, educational software

and other essential goods

   - sometimes priced out of the reach of the people

2) constraining effects of IP on technology - broad patents, length of

protection, pools, skewed licenses, lack of disclosure

3) misappropriation of TK - need prior consent, benefit sharing, etc.

Academic proposal on impact statements deserves much attention

Norm-setting should be conducted in an equitable manner.  Shouldn't rely

on islolated enclaves to set policies that affect the group... Other

bodies moving away from that model

We should have further sessions of IIM to discuss these issues



Congratulations to chair and vice-president.  Egypt firmly believes that

development in all its forms is the only way to raise standards of

living for our people.  IP is a component; it is not an exception from

this path.  If we don't deal with IP from a development point of view

including a development dimension, standards of economic development, it

will lack one of its main targets.  Egypt was one of the authors of the

GFOD proposal.

Let me affirm two basic topics (priority for Egypt)

1) The need to not have a narrow point of view of development in IP.  It

is important that all parties concerned understand that the question of

promoting IP development is not limited to quantatative and

qualitative aspect of technical assistance

2) The instruments which WIPO offers should incorporate IP but should

not be exceptions to development. Some of these treaties impose

constraints on developing countries.  The development dimension should

be put on the core of all standards that WIPO creates.  This cannot take

place unless we take into consideration elements which are noted in the

proposals contained in the FOD paper.

Hope that GFoD & other doc are deeply discussed to allow "continued

credibility of the WIPO process.

~End Day One~

Thiru Balasubramaniam, Gwen Hinze, Ren Bucholz,

Filed Under: Copyright/Fair Use | English



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