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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 01, 2008

WIPO Adopts Transitional Budget, Reduces Filing Fees, and Starts Race for New Leadership

On March 31, 2008, WIPO Member States finally adopted a 2008/09 Program and Budget. According to the press relase,
The agreement included a decision to reduce the international filing fee under the PCT by 5% (this means that the international filing fee will fall from 1,400 SFr to 1,330 SFr) and to increase the reduction from 75% to 90% for countries whose per capita national income is below US$3,000, as well as to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates. This fee reduction will be effective from 1 July 2008.
But will the reduction in international filing fees for the poorest countries make any difference in international filing statistics? And what's up with Singapore? Like the IPKat, I thought that Singapore was doing too well for itself to accept that kind of ridicule. Are negotiated discounts now part of the WIPO budgetary process?

According to William New writing for Intellectual Property Watch,

The US ambassador said in his plenary meeting statement that the US agreed to the budget after Idris informed senior staff that he would leave significant restructuring and promotions to WIPO’s senior management team, which has decided to defer such actions to the incoming director general. This could mean a significant delay in filling the 13 vacant director-level posts in WIPO, sources said. Some developed countries feared Idris would fill the posts before departing, making it potentially troublesome
for the next director general, they said.

The United States also said the budget is transitional and will need to be revised at the next General Assemblies in six months to reflect agreed recommendations related to the WIPO Development Agenda, the PCT fee reduction, and decisions relating to staffing.

The resumed meeting served as a showcase for campaigners to be the next WIPO director general. Materials touting candidates’ credentials were distributed outside the room of the General Assembly, and candidates were on hand to chat and discuss the finer points of WIPO policy and management.

Intellectual Property Watch then posed five questions on IP policy to the 15 candidates to be the next director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Read their answers here.
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