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Archived updates for Thursday, October 07, 2004

WIPO's SPLT Remains Stalled

According to the September 2004 issue of Bridges Monthly Review, the recent WIPO Assembly was unable to move forward on establishing a two-stage process for further negotiations on the Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT).

Representitives repotedly discussed a proposal put forward by Japan, the EU and the US at the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (see BRIDGES Trade BioRes 28 May 2004,, which identified four issues that should be given priority. These would include definitions of prior art, grace period, novelty and inventive step non-obviousness). In a later stage the Committee would then cover the current draft SPLT as a whole and consider issues such as declaration of origin of genetic resources and TK, public health and exceptions to patentability criteria.
However, no consensus could be reached on this matter, as developing countries did not agree with moving ahead on the SPLT in a two-staged process that would have left aside many of the their proposals. The Director-General will now undertake consultations on this matter outside the GA. No date for the next meeting of the Standing Committee will be set until these consultations have been finalised.

Click here for the WIPO press release.
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