25 February 2007

Hope for WIPO?

OK, I admit it: I've been a teensy bit negative about WIPO in the past. In part, this was because I thought there was precious little hope it would ever change substantively. Looks like I was wrong:

The agreement on dozens of WIPO reforms was broader and more substantive than had been anticipated. Some of the measures signal important changes in this controversial UN body. WIPO members agreed to "consider the preservation of the public domain within WIPO's normative processes and deepen the analysis of the implication and benefits of a rich and accessible public domain." WIPO agreed to "promote measures that will help countries deal with IP related anticompetitive practices." "Norm-setting activities shall . . . take into account different levels of development" and "take into consideration a balance between costs and benefits." WIPO adopted an expanded mandate to undertake studies to assess the economic, social and cultural impact of intellectual property practices and norm setting activities. All of this signals a new tone and approach for WIPO. In a sense, WIPO is finally entering the new century, and responding to the growing demand for reforms, and a more balanced approach to intellectual property protection.

No comments: