The 51st series of Meetings of the WIPO Annual Assemblies ended on 2 October, in Geneva, with adoption of a number of decisions on some of the points included in the consolidated Agenda of the meetings. Among the key points agreed by WIPO Member States were:
- Extension of the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) for the 2014-2015 biennium, as well as the schedule of IGC sessions for 2014;
- The convening of a Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a Revised Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications in 2015;
- The procedures and process for the appointment of the Director General in 2014;
- The Annual Report on Human Resources and the new Human Resources Strategy, as well as a revision of the Staff Regulations and Rules improving WIPO’s internal justice mechanisms;
- The financial statements for 2012 which had received an unqualified audit opinion;
- Noted a progress report on the new administrative building and the new conference hall project which is expected to be delivered within budget in the spring of 2014;
- Appointment of the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), as well as certain changes to the PCT Regulations, allowing for more complete information on prior art to be found during international preliminary examination of international applications and greater transparency in written opinions established as part of international searches;
- Adoption of amendments aimed at ensuring that the IT framework and the legal framework of the Hague system evolve in a coordinated fashion with a view to fostering its geographic expansion and coping with the expected growth in filings;
- To support the workplan for the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) next session in March 2014, which will cover alternative dispute resolution systems in IP areas and preventive actions to complement ongoing enforcement measures;
- Noted a progress report on discussions at the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) which are to continue in a balanced manner and avoiding the duplication of work carried out within WIPO or by other international bodies. Member states also took note of progress in the contribution by the SCP to the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations;
- Member states noted developments in the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center’s provision of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, including assistance requested by certain intellectual property offices in offering ADR options for opposition and other disputes before these offices;
- Modifications to the Model International Request Form of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT), with immediate effect.
However, some important points on the agenda of the 51st series of Annual Meetings of the WIPO Assemblies, on which agreement has not been reached, were referred for consideration and decision at an extraordinary session of the WIPO General Assemblies, scheduled for December 2013. Points, on which agreement has not been reached, are:
WIPO’s program and budget for the 2014/15 biennium, including the establishment of new external offices;
Possible convening of a diplomatic conference for the adoption of a design law treaty to develop simplified standards for industrial design registration procedures;
Decisions related to the report of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.
It should be note that WIPO Member States elected Ambassador Päivi Kairamo, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva to the position of Chair of the WIPO General Assembly for the biennium 2013-2015. However, Ambassador Fode Seck, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, was elected Chairman of the WIPO Coordination Committee for the period from 2013 to 2014.
WIPO press release can be accessed at: http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2013/article_0022.html