Upcoming agenda of this week’s CDIP meeting

This week the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) will be meeting in Geneva, Switzerland for its 20th session from November 27 to December 1, 2017. Among the topics expected to be discussed at this meeting are the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chair; adoption of the Draft Report of the Nineteenth Session of the CDIP; all Development Agenda Recommendations; WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development; work programs for implementation of adopted recommendation; IP and Development; and future work of the Committee.

The Committee will discuss: Progress Reports, Measures Undertaken to Disseminate the Information Contained in the Database on Flexibilities, Contribution of the Relevant WIPO Bodies to the Implementation of the Respective Development Agenda Recommendations, Roadmap on Promoting the Usage of the Web Forum Established under the “Project on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer: Common Challenges-Building Solutions”, Promotion of WIPO Activities and Resources Related to Technology Transfer, and Mapping of International Fora and Conferences with Initiatives and Activites on Technology Transfer.

In regard to the WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development, the Committee will discuss the Report on the Roundtable on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building: Sharing Experiences, Tools and Methodologies, which found that 76% of the 33 participants who responded to the questionnaire were satisfied with the Roundtable and 64% found it useful.

For a complete list of the work programs for implementation of adopted recommendations please consult the Draft Agenda.


Does IP have a role in sustainable development? Of course it does!

Does intellectual property have a role in sustainable development? Of course it does! But the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN agency, seems uncertain as to whether it has a role to play in implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Photo: WIPO – Emmanuel Berrod.

As I note in a draft book chapter, WIPO’s preliminary analysis of the ways in which its work supported SDGs viewed most of WIPO’s work as contributing to SDG 9, the building of infrastructure and industrialization, as well as goal 8, that of economic growth.

Surprisingly few of WIPO’s activities were viewed by WIPO as contributing to the SDGs of education, hunger, protecting biodiversity, combating climate change, or ensuring human health.

“Developed” countries argue “that only a few goals apply to the work of WIPO, and others argue that there should be no ‘cherrypicking’ as all the goals in one way or another do apply to WIPO’s work as a UN agency.” The view of the “developed” countries, here, is completely ridiculous; it is clear that intellectual property plays an important role in relation to many SDGs, including those related to food and agriculture, health, innovation, climate change, biodiversity, and technology transfer.

The world intellectual property system, at present, also sometimes works contrary to achievement of the SDGs, by locking up agricultural innovation, inflating drug prices, stalling innovation, rewarding the invention and sale of dirty technologies, locking up biodiversity, and preventing technology transfer. There is no shortage of proposals for reform that would help to address these problems. (See the work of Peter Drahos, Matthew Rimmer, and Ahmed Abdel-Latif, among many others.) Industry players note the important role of intellectual property in potentially stalling climate-friendly innovation; this is why Tesla has adopted open patent policies to encourage the take-up and spread of electric vehicle technology.

WIPO and its member states should acknowledge the links between intellectual property and both sustainable and unsustainable development. The UN sustainable development agenda requires WIPO, as a UN agency, and its member states to build and retool world intellectual property institutions for sustainable development.

[Original post available here]

What will be discussed at this meeting of the CDIP?

The Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is a body created by WIPO’s general assembly in 2008. It is tasked with creating and adapting programs according to the 45 recommendations of the Development Agenda. The CDIP will be meeting from May 19th to the 23rd of this year and has many items on its agenda. Several topics are planned for discussion, the most relevant of which will follow.

First, the committee has chosen to have a third party independent review of its implementation of the development agenda recommendations to its programs. Before doing this however, the committee must discuss and arrive at a consensus on the terms of reference to be used for the review (CDIP/13 Webcast: Mon 19 – English Morning Session).

The next item has the CDIP tasked with the discussion and reporting of two important issues. The first is the implementation of the ‘Coordination Mechanism’, or the Coordination Mechanisms and Monitoring, Assessing and Reporting Modalities, which requests reports from all WIPO bodies on how they are implementing the development agenda recommendations. Secondly, CDIP must come to consensus on a new agenda item on the third pillar of the CDIP mandate, Technology Transfer, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Access to Knowledge. According to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, this “cannot be referred back to the General Assembly until such time as you, in the CDIP, have reached agreement upon a recommendation that can form the basis of a decision of the General Assembly” (CDIP/13 Webcast: Mon 19 – English Morning Session).

The External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development will further be discussed in order to identify the best ways to improve WIPO’s technical assistance activities. Technical assistance, in this context, refers to the development of programs that will enable developing nations to participate in the global intellectual property system. This encompasses a number of programs including online services that seek to facilitate filing and registering IP rights and other initiatives that seek to better integrate regional systems to the global IP infrastructure (WIPO).

Finally, the CDIP will discuss Patent Related Flexibilities in the Multilateral Legal Framework and their Legislative Implementation at the National and Regional Levels. According to recommendation 14 of the WIPO’s Development Agenda, “Within the framework of the agreement between WIPO and the WTO, WIPO shall make available advice to developing countries and LDCs, on the implementation and operation of the rights and obligations and the understanding and use of flexibilities contained in the TRIPS Agreement” (WIPO).

At the Thirteenth Session of WIPO's CDIP
Photo: WIPO – Emmanuel Berrod

Upcoming at the CDIP: The Twelfth Session

The Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) will meet starting today  in a regular session from November 18 to 21, 2013. The CDIP was established in 2008 with the mandate of overseeing the implementation of WIPO’s 45 adopted Development Agenda recommendations. Since then, it has set itself upon the task of making development increasingly central to the goals and priorities of WIPO, through both an extensive array of projects aimed to give technical assistance to those countries which seek it, and through striving to make development a key consideration in all committee work throughout the organization.

Continue reading “Upcoming at the CDIP: The Twelfth Session”