03 March 2008

The (Intellectual Monopoly) Empire Fights Back

I've chronicled how WIPO is beginning to shift towards some semblance of fairness when it comes to intellectual monopolies. This is clearly bad news for those that have used WIPO to impose all kinds of unfair regimes on developing countries. It seems those forces of monopoly murkiness are fighting back - dirtily:

The World Customs Organisation is recommending far-reaching new rules on intellectual property rights that some say may extend beyond the organisation’s mandate.

Staff at the WCO’s Brussels headquarters are preparing what they describe as voluntary ‘model legislation’ to provide guidance on how IP rights can be upheld at border posts.

While they are hoping that the model will be approved by the 171-country body in June, representatives of developing countries were meeting this week to address concerns raised by Brazil over the proposal’s likely breadth.

Brazil is perturbed by a WCO recommendation that customs authorities need to be conferred with powers and be able to take measures that are additional to those set out in the key international accord on IP issues: the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). TRIPS does not oblige its signatories to introduce border control measures relating to exports or goods in transit.

During discussions in February, Brazil argued that a WCO working group known as SECURE (Standards to be Employed by Customs for Uniform Rights Enforcement) had no mandate to alter the international legal framework on intellectual property.

I'm sure they won't let a little detail like having "no mandate" get in the way....

No comments: