A Project of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society

World Intellectual Property Organization Development Agenda Meetings Daily Report - Feb 21, 2007


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works -- intellectual property -- are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life, as well as creating real wealth for nations. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations. It administers 23 international treaties dealing with different aspects of intellectual property protection. The Organization counts 183 nations as member states.

The United States weighed in on the following proposals today:

-- Proposal 22, to have WIPO aim some of its activity at bridging the digital divide. Supports.

-- Proposal 23, to better enable SMEs to take advantage of flexibilities provided by international agreements, including technology transfer. Opposed. The US stated that it is up to individual governments to decide what norms to put in place.

-- Proposal 24, to request developed countries to encourage their research and scientific institutions to enhance cooperation and exchange with institutions in developing countries. Supports.

-- Proposal 25, to provide a forum for discussions focused on IP-related aspects of ICT and its role in economic and cultural development. Supports.

-- Proposal 26, calling for exploration of policies and reforms necessary to ensure technology transfer. Opposed, on the ground that the proposal seems premised on the idea that governments somehow must ensure technology transfer.

-- Proposal 27, also on promotion of technology transfer. Opposed--"WIPO should focus on its core mission and not spend much time on technology transfer. Other organizations are working on this...."

-- Proposal 28, on promoting measures to combat IP related anti-competitive practices. Opposed. The US stated that there are other international organizations sufficiently engaged on these issues, and, at all events, there is no overarching international framework that would govern or guide WIPO action here.

-- Proposals 38 and 39, which deal with ensuring wider participation of civil society groups, and the adoption of UN system criteria for NGO accreditation. Opposed. According to the US, there is an unprecedented number of NGOs entering into WIPO, admit criteria are presently very inclusive, and there really aren't any UN-wide criteria. In any event, no problems have been identified regarding inclusiveness.

-- Proposal 40, "to approach IP enforcement in the context of broader societal interests and development-related concerns, in accordance with Article 7 of the TRIPS Agreement." Opposed.

Other News:

The United Kingdom and Mexico supported ALL of Proposals 22-40. Without any concerns or reservations. No other country announced such sweeping support as of the drafting of this report.