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Monday, June 18, 2007

More on the rise of A2K at WIPO

William New, In A ‘Major Achievement’, WIPO Negotiators Create New Development Mandate, IP-Watch, June 18, 2007.  Excerpt:

Members of a World Intellectual Property Organization committee addressing proposals for a WIPO Development Agenda last week potentially rewrote the UN body’s mandate, pending approval.

Negotiators concluded a weeklong meeting with agreements on a wide range of proposals for new development-related activities - some hard to imagine for WIPO two years ago - and a recommendation to set up a new committee to implement the proposals.

“This is a major achievement,” said a participating official. “It’s a complete overhaul of the WIPO concept, broadening it to reflect society’s growing concern with ownership of technologies and knowledge, and its effects for the future, both in developed and developing countries.” ...

The idea for WIPO reform originated from Brazil and Argentina in 2004. The 45 recommendations were narrowed from 111 proposals submitted by a variety of countries over two years. All of the main issues from the original 111 proposals appear to have been retained in the process.

Proposals agreed last week ranged from technical assistance to the making of rules, to technology transfer, to development impact assessments, to WIPO’s mandate. Topics range from protection to competition to access to knowledge [A2K] to open collaborative models to support for the public domain....

PS:  Why does this matter for OA?  Because it greatly improves the prospects for the draft A2K Treaty (May 9, 2005), which includes a provision (Article 5-2) mandating OA for publicly-funded research.  The treaty is a central part of the Development Agenda, which is now becoming part of the WIPO mandate.  For more on the OA implications of the WIPO Development Agenda, see SOAN for October 2004.  (Disclaimer:  I took part in the drafting of the OA provision of the A2K Treaty.)