WIPO General Assembly Opens With Loaded Agenda
IP Watch, 23 September 2013
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Held from 23 September to 2 October 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly opened with an unusual number of issues for delegates to solve, in particular those inherited from the committee in charge of approving the budget and the programmes of the organisation earlier in the month. Among pressing issues are WIPO external offices and decisions to be made on potential treaties such as on industrial designs, the protection of broadcasting organisations, and the protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Referring to ongoing negotiations under the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions (IGC), WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said that “it is of the utmost importance to bring this work to a satisfactory conclusion.” However, controversies remain regarding holding a diplomatic conference in the next biennium and whether negotiations should aim to a legally binding instrument(s) or not.
In related news, the WIPO Secretariat has made available for comments the initial draft report of IGC 25. The deadline for submission of comments is 15 October 2013.