[You know the drill, these are my own opinions]

Plenary session begins with the discussion of paper CDIP/5/5 dealing with the Project on Intellectual Property and Product Branding for Business Development in Developing Countries and Least-Developed Countries (LDCs). This is mostly being presented as a project that will try to enhance all sorts of product branding in developing countries so that they can increase exports. Besides branding, the main thrust of this project is that it offers geographical indications as an important tool for developing countries. The project will identify regions and products in countries where a legal framework for the protection of geographical indications and distinctive signs already exists. Then three countries will be chosen, with two specific products on each country will be subject to a branding exercise. Several countries are commenting on this, there is broad support, but they want to know how will the countries be selected, it seems like a lot of them want to take place.

I have made this comment before, but I am a bit disheartened by what seems to be a structural problem within the institutional structure at WIPO. For example, the Chair was ready to approve the document CDIP/5/5, but some countries wanted a change in the title because of translation issues, so valuable time was spent on several countries trying to talk about the various meaning of “branding”. So the plenary broke for coffee when it would have been possible to have one document already behind us. After coffee more countries are asking for clarification even though the title has been modified already, so it seems like they will have to send the document to group consultation, which is a big pity.

The afternoon session now discusses (CDIP/5/6) Capacity-Building in the Use of Appropriate Technology-Specific Technical and Scientific Information as a Solution for Identified Development Challenges. This project will choose three pilot Least Developed Countries to deliver appropriate technologies to LDCs so that they can access and retrieve technical information. In other words, this project will try to provide capacity-building tools that can be used in LDCs to be able to facilitate transfer of technology. This is because some poor countries lack the indigenous capacity to even try to benefit from technology transfer efforts, so they need to start building their knowledge from the ground up, including IT systems for scientific research. Everyone agrees with the project, but the EU needs to look at a couple of changes in writing, so the project is not accepted yet, and we break for informal meetings.

So, the day is practically over.

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