Search the Archives           Subscribe           About this News Service           Reader Comments

Archived updates for Thursday, October 04, 2007

WIPO Assembly Implodes on International "He Said, She Said"

According to William New writing for Intellectual Property Watch on September 24, 2007, the WIPO secretariat issued "A Brief Note on Allegations Against the Organization and its Director General" at the start of its annual General Assembly, which began:
The present note provides clarifications pertaining to a series of reported allegations and rumors concerning the Organization and its Director General . . . . Some are vesting relentless efforts to destabilize this Organization and derail it from the substantive issues it is intended to pursue. . . .
In a follow-up article on September 28, 2007, New also reported that the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), which initiated the report on WIPO Director General Idris’ reported age discrepencies, sent Member States it's own rebuttal to the Secretariat's Note on the next day, defending its actions and claiming that the Note contained "serious errors." According to JIU Chairperson Deborah Wynes' rebuttal,

The JIU regrets that this document was distributed on September 24, the opening
day of the Assembly, that it was not made available in advance to the JIU to correct the serious errors contained thereinor to the Member States so that they could take an informed decision on the matter. We cannot help but conclude that the document is designed to deflect attention away from the real and substantive issues at hand by attempting to focus on procedures and process. This is unfortunate.
Don't these folks recognize that the intellectual property community can fairly easily form a new organization to administer the Patent Cooperation Treaty (and its excess revenue stream) without all of this petty squabbling. N'est pas, Salvatore Di Palma, former Deputy Director at WIPO? Et vous aussi, la Suisse?

But, why worry, since there's always time for WIPO to launch a new agenda on IP and development. Unless, of course, Member States can't even get together to approve a new budget, or a proposed 15% cut in PCT fees.

“It was a catastrophe,” a participating government official reportedly told William New as the General Assembly ground to a close on October 4, 2007:
It is unclear what will happen next but the Idris issue could be taken up in a
session of the WIPO Coordination Committee, the roughly 80-member-state
executive body. It is now chaired by the Group B developed countries, and a
meeting could be convened with the agreement of a relatively small percentage of
the committee membership, according to a source.
    (0)comment(s)     translate     More Updates     Send