Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) Morning Day One

[Disclaimer: I am attending as representative from Creative Commons, but this blog expresses only my opinions and not CC’s]

Dr Francis Gurry, Secreatary General of WIPO opens the proceedings. There are funds and staff for development. Established an office of economist and established a “Challenges” office. There is a new WIPO office on Innovation and Technology Transfer.

Kyrgistan and Central Asia make proposal of the Bangladeshi delegate as chair and Tunisia delegation as deputy chair. Swiss delegation seconds, El Salvador and Angola agree. This has been highly choreographed process and it is all arranged beforehand. Chair accepts the naming. Fluff, adoption of reports and similar housekeeping.

Dr Francis Gurry makes another statement about the implementation of the development agenda, most of which can be found in this document. Gurry emphasises that development is something that has to be in the mind of every single office at WIPO, and in all of the actions undertaken at the organisation, and that it is not only a matter for one department or standing committee. This is what he calls “mainstreaming” the development agenda. The normative agenda of WIPO is driven by the member states, and therefore it is the responsibility of the states to ensure that the implementation agenda is going well.

Regional groups comment on the report, not much to talk about other than the European group hopes more funds will be allocated to the Development Agenda. So far the only disagreement has been about making small changes to the report. Looking at the agenda and the documents, I do not see much that will be particularly polemic. Some developing countries, amongst them Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran and others, have lanched a new group at WIPO called the Development Agenda Group (DAG).

There has been little substance so far, the closest has been a statement from South African representative requesting that capacity-building projects arising from the development agenda should be specifically directed towards topics that are both sensible to the needs of developing countries, but also that respond to the cultural and innovation needs of these countries. Sri Lanka calls for pro-development IP direction, one that favours balance, exceptions and limitations.

United States calls for fact-based analysis to guide the work of the CDIP. I hope that means they approve the GAO report.

Most of the morning is being spent by member states making statements. I know these statements are an important part of the UN multilateral and inclusive system, but I can’t help but feel that much more would be achieved by having a more concise and controlled agenda. Half of the delegates are checking their email, lots of them looked bored out of their minds, or are simply talking to each other and clearly not paying attention, maybe because they know the country statements are made public at the same time in the meeting’s website. For example, I just heard a representative make a statement that amounted pretty much to saying that IP is important, and that therefore the representatives should make this meeting a fruitful one. Another just took the microphone to thank the WIPO Secretariat for their work in putting together the preparatory meeting.

Shallow comments:

  • WIPO has launched a new logo, very wavy.
  • In my role as observer, I am at the very back row, handy to setup some amusing pictures.
  • The U.S. representative doesn’t sound American at all.
  • The Swedish ambassador is absent, but the Swedish Pirate Party is present. Coincidence? I think not.
  • Does everyone have to thank the chair for his election?
  • We get 2 hours for lunch!

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