This is my first time at WIPO and Geneva, the experience as been extremely interesting, seeing at first-hand how an international organisation works. The place is very clean and sanitised, it does feel very multicultural, I have never heard so many languages spoken in hallways. Then there are the international organisations, the EU and right at the back there are the observers, NGOs and industry representatives. The first part of the meeting is for countries to make comments about their enforcement strategies. Here are some highlights from the interventions:
Nigeria: Serious problems in Nigeria with regards to widespread organised counterfeiting of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Sri Lanka and Romania: Heavy governmental and official involvement in enforcement.
United States: Enforcement and development are intrinsically linked, and this should be recongised in the WIPO development agenda.
China: Moving forward in IP protection through education and serious police enforcement.
Lebanon: This is not a developing country issue, it is a global issue. Some price-reduction initiatives could help curb piracy! Investment and loss of revenues in developing countries are of relevance.
South Africa: Criminal enforcement has been the most important aspect of IP policy for the South African government.
Serbia & Montenegro: Heavy spending on enforcement does not equate a noticeable reduction in infringement and counterfeiting. Seems like some institutions are expecting too much from recipient countries, as there are no resources to implement some of the enforcement ideas. Resources should be allocated intelligently.
Chile: Responding to an assertion that real property and intellectual property stealing are hte same, the representative from Chile made an excellent comment that they are not because IP is non-rivalrous.
Brazil: This was the most interesting part of the day. IP should change to protect against other types of infreingment, such as biopiracy. There should be more social inclusion and WIPO should provide aternative manners of protection. So far, represive measures are implemented without any consideration to factual evidence, this is provided by the IP industries.
Setting “enforcement” standards would give “some” countries the power to indict others by their own interpretation of IP law.
Everybody knew what they meant, and at the end of the meeting the American representative stormed in to have a long chat with the Brazilians.
Saudi Arabia: question about internatinal enforcement of file-sharing. Which law applies? I almost raised my hand and went “I know! I know!”
European Commission: Proposed new directive on enforcement (some of us knew about that).
ALAI: Former representative of SGAE. Piracy is the greatest scourge to musicians and artists.
Now off to a reception to network.