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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 19, 2005

U.S. Statement on WIPO Development Agenda and Partnership Program

The following is excerted from the "Statement by the U.S. at the Inter-Sessional Intergovernmental Meeting on a Development Agenda For WIPO, April 11-13, 2005":

[T]he proposals submitted by Brazil, Argentina and other co-sponsors concern us, because they appear to imply that WIPO has disregarded development concerns, and that strong and balanced IP protection is detrimental to global development goals.

We disagree with both notions. As noted by the Director General of WIPO in his book entitled "Intellectual Property -- A Power Tool for EconomicGrowth," intellectual property is an important tool in economic, social and cultural development, and it encourages domestic innovation,investment and technology transfer. The experience of many developing countries here today will attest to the fact that IP has facilitated,rather than hindered, their development.

It appears obvious to us, however, that WIPO and intellectual property systems can contribute only a part of the solution. We must look toother international bodies, those whose core competence is developmentor trade, to address other core development issues. As the sponsors recognize, not all countries will achieve the samebenefits from intellectual property at the same time, and IP alone cannot bring about development. It is simply one part of the necessary infrastructure needed to stimulate development, as noted by the
delegate of Switzerland in his remarks yesterday. The thought that less IP willfurther development, however, appears to us to be as flawed as the idea that an IP system alone can bring about development.

The following is excerted from the "Statement Introducing U.S. Proposal for a Partnership Program":

Mr. Chairman, the United States has submitted a proposal for the establishment of a Partnership Program in WIPO.

The U.S. proposal is not intended to answer or rebut the Argentina/Brazil proposal, but it is premised on the recognition of the contribution that intellectual property and WIPO make to development and aimed at strengthening this contribution.

Our proposal is not just about technical assistance, but also about the strategic use of the IP system, including its flexibilities, for development.

The U.S. proposal would help developing and least-developed countries to partner with these institutions to achieve synergies and address specific circumstances and needs; to strike appropriate balance in national legislation, and to strengthen institutions such as IP offices, inventor groups, collecting societies and so on.

The Partnership Program would include two main features: a WIPO Partnership Database and a WIPO Partnership Office.

The WIPO Partnership Office would have a partners section listing available, partner institutions with contact information, a country and region section where specific needs could be notified, and a success section with descriptions and/or evaluations of successful partner matches.

The WIPO Partnership Office would have WIPO staff that aggressively seek partners, funds and matches.

The myriad of possible matches is almost infinite. For example:

A developing country culture ministry with museum experts, charitable organization and a regional development bank to exploit rich cultural assets in developing and least developed countries.

A developing country copyright collecting society with NGOs having expertise and a developed country collecting society to ensure compensation to authors, producers and performers in developing countries.

A developing country IP office with a developed country IP office and development funding, for automation projects, patent information dissemination, and so forth -- so that developing countries' institutions can enhance their access to knowledge and technology transfer.
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