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Archived updates for Friday, March 25, 2005

Working Group of Industrialised Nations Issues Statement

At a meeting hosted by the European Patent Office on March 21 - 22, 2005, the Working Group of industrialized nations on intellectual property and development issued the following statement entitled "Communiqué from the Working Group of Industrialised Nations on Intellectual Property and Development":

The Working Group of industrialised nations on intellectual property and
development set up by the meeting in February 2005 at the United States Patent
and Trademark Office in Alexandria met at the European Patent Office in Munich
on 21 and 22 March 2005. The meeting was attended by 53 delegates from Austria,
Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Commission, the
European Patent Office, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland,
Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United
States of America.

The meeting reaffirmed its support for the World Intellectual Property
Organization's long-standing work in the area of development-related aspects of
IP. The meeting recognised that we should do more to ensure that capacity
building is targeted to the expressed needs of developing countries and that we
should adopt a "demand driven" approach. We should find ways in which
development partnerships can be created, shared and monitored to avoid
duplication and assess effectiveness. Capacity building covers not only the
building of IP expertise and resources, but should include ensuring that IP
systems in developing countries function to facilitate growth and development.

The meeting noted the need to go beyond issues of capacity building and
deepen our understanding of the relationship between IP and economic, social and
cultural development. The meeting also discussed existing proposals,
including those from Switzerland, the European Union and the United States on
the disclosure of the origin/source of genetic resources and related traditional
knowledge in patent applications. There was consensus to discuss this matter
further within WIPO.

In summary, an active meeting at which all confirmed their commitment
to working together with all countries within WIPO to develop the IP system for
the benefit of all and with needs of developing countries integral to our

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