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Archived updates for Monday, October 08, 2007

Et tu, WIPO Cincinnatus?

According to a purported "Open Letter From Staff To The Director General Of WIPO," published by Intellectual Property Watch on October 8, 2007 following the catastrophic impasse at last week's General Assembly meeting:

It is not our purpose here to comment or take a position on the accusations, the allegations and the evidence that the international press and the delegations are spreading around. . . . Instead we would like to look towards the future of our Organization in order to recover the motivation, which made us join in the first place.

. . . We want to hereby call upon your sense of honor, your common sense and your magnanimity, that we know so well. Don’t listen to those who advise you stubbornly to stick to a go-for-broke approach like a kamikaze. They have their own agenda. It is not yours, not ours, not the one of the Organization. Not even that of the developing countries. Only one solution can bring this Organization out of this tragic crisis. Immediately. And you know what it is.

Cincinnatus. This name represents a group of WIPO staff, from all grades, nationalities, races and religions.

Although Julius Caesar's last words during his assasination are not known with certainty, the version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase Et tu, Brute? ("And you, Brutus" or "You too, Brutus?" or "Even you, Brutus?"). Derived from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar," this version evidently follows in the tradition of the Roman historian Suetonius, who reports that Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase "καί σύ τέκνον" (transliterated as "Kai su, teknon?": "You too, my child?" in English). Plutarch, on the other hand, reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators.

The result unforeseen by the assassins, however, was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic. The Roman middle and lower classes, with whom Caesar was immensely popular were enraged that a small group of high-browed aristocrats had killed their champion.

"Will the days of WIPO [also] soon be numbered?," asks Axel H Horns:
Mr Joff Wild from IAM Magazine now has picked up this matter, pointing out that even if the U.S. were to leave the WIPO Convention U.S. companies would still be ble to make use of the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid Protocol, and a whole host of other international IP treaties. As pointed out by Mr Wild, the crucial point is not that the US has signed the WIPO Convention but that it is a member of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property.
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April 07, 2009 1:18 AM  

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