INTERNET 187 to 193
Item 12: AGENDA FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE
INTERNATIONAL PATENT LAW SYSTEM 194 to 222
Item 13: MATTERS CONCERNING THE LISBON UNION 223
Item 14: MATTERS CONCERNING THE MADRID UNION 224
Item 15: MATTERS CONCERNING THE HAGUE UNION 225
Item 16: MATTERS CONCERNING THE IPC UNION 226
Item 17: MATTERS CONCERNING THE PCT UNION 227
Item 18: INTERNET DOMAIN NAMES 228
Item 19: WIPO ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION COUNCIL 229
Item 20: REPORT OF THE PERMANENT COMMITTEE ON
COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT RELATED
TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (PCIPD) 230
Item 21: COOPERATION WITH THE WORLD TRADE
Item 22: CREATION OF A NEW WIPO LOGO 232
Item 23: RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS OF THE
UNITED NATIONS; REPORTS OF THE JOINT
INSPECTION UNIT (JIU) 233
Item 24: ADMISSION OF OBSERVERS 234 to 250
Item 25: PREMISES 251
Item 26: STAFF MATTERS 252
Item 27: ADOPTION OF THE REPORTS 253 and 254
AND OF THE INDIVIDUAL REPORTS OF
EACH GOVERNING BODY
Item 28: CLOSING OF THE SESSIONS 255 to 262
ANNEX: INDEX OF INTERVENTIONS BY DELEGATIONS OF STATES AND
REPRESENTATIVES OF INTERNATIONAL INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
1 This General Report records the deliberations and decisions of the following 16 Assemblies and other concerned bodies of the Member States of WIPO:
(1) WIPO General Assembly, twenty-seventh (15th ordinary) session
(15) Budapest Union Assembly, seventeenth (11th ordinary) session
(16) Vienna Union Assembly, thirteenth (9th ordinary) session
meeting in Geneva from September 24 to October 3, 2001, where the deliberations took place, and decisions were made in joint meetings of two or more of the said Assemblies and other bodies convened (hereinafter referred to as “the joint meeting(s)” and “the Assemblies of the Member States,” respectively).
2 In addition to this General Report, separate Reports have been drawn up on the sessions of the General Assembly (WO/GA/27/8), WIPO Conference (WO/CF/19/2 ), WIPO Coordination Committee (WO/CC/47/2), Paris Union Assembly (P/A/31/1), Paris Union Executive Committee (P/EC/38/1), Berne Union Assembly (B/A/27/1), Berne Union Executive Committee (B/EC/44/1), Madrid Union Assembly (MM/A/33/2), Hague Union Assembly (H/A/20/2), Nice Union Assembly (N/A/20/1), Lisbon Union Assembly (LI/A/17/2), Locarno Union Assembly (LO/A/20/1), IPC Union Assembly (IPC/A/19/2), PCT Union Assembly (PCT/A/30/7), Budapest Union Assembly (BP/A/17/1), and the Vienna Union Assembly (VA/A/13/1).
3 The list of the States members of the Assemblies and other bodies concerned and the observers admitted to their sessions as of September 24, 2001, is set forth in document A/36/INF/1 Rev.
4 The meetings dealing with the following items of the Agenda (document A/36/1) were presided over by the following Chairs:
Items 1, 2 and 3
Mr. Marino Porzio (Chile), outgoing Chair of the General Assembly
The Chair (or, in his absence, a Vice-Chair, or, in the absence of the Chair and both
Vice-Chairs, an ad hoc Chair) of one of the 16 Governing Bodies concerned, that is for the General Report, the Reports of the WIPO General Assembly; the WIPO Conference; the WIPO Coordination Committee; the Paris Union Assembly; the Paris Union Executive Committee; the Berne Union Assembly; the Berne Union Executive Committee; the Nice Union Assembly; the Locarno Union Assembly; the Budapest Union Assembly and the Vienna Union Assembly, Ambassador Álvaro de Mendonça E Moura (Portugal); the Report of the Lisbon Union Assembly, Mr. Amor Bouhnik (Algeria); the Report of the Madrid Union Assembly, Mr. Peter Tucker (Australia); the Report of the Hague Union Assembly, Mrs. Yvonne Roeplal-Soeratram (Suriname); the Reports of the IPC Union Assembly and the PCT Union Assembly, Mr. Michael A. Meigs (United States of America).
Ambassador Álvaro de Mendonça E Moura (Portugal), Chair of the WIPO General Assembly.
5 An index of interventions by Delegations of States and Representatives of intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations mentioned in this report will be reproduced as an Annex to the final version of the present report. The Agenda, as adopted, and the list of participants will appear in documents A/36/1, as indicated in paragraphs 8 and 9 of the present document, and A/36/INF/3 respectively.
ITEM 1 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:
OPENING OF THE SESSIONS
6 The thirty-sixth series of meetings of the Assemblies and other bodies of the Member States of WIPO was convened by the Director General of WIPO, Dr. Kamil Idris (hereinafter referred to as “the Director General”).
7 The sessions of the Assemblies and other bodies of the Member States of WIPO were opened in a joint meeting of all the 16 Assemblies and other bodies concerned by the outgoing Chair of the General Assembly, Mr. Marino Porzio (Chile).
ITEM 2 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
8 The Delegation of France, on behalf of Group B, made a proposal to bring Item 25 (Premises) forward and consider it together with Item 7 (Proposed Program and Budget for the 2002-2003 Biennium) due to budgetary considerations.
9 After due consideration the Assemblies and other bodies concerned agreed to the proposal made by the Delegation of France, and each of the Assemblies and other bodies concerned adopted its agenda as proposed in document A/36/1 Prov.3 (hereinafter referred to in this document and in the documents listed in paragraph 2 above as the “Consolidated Agenda”).
ITEM 3 OF THE CONSOLIDATED AGENDA:
ELECTION OF THE OFFICERS
10 Discussions were based on document A/36/INF/1 Rev.
11 Informal consultations among the Group Coordinators were undertaken by the outgoing Chair of the WIPO General Assembly, Mr. Marino Porzio (Chile), in respect of the election of the officers of the WIPO General Assembly. As a result of those consultations, the officers of the WIPO General Assembly were elected by the WIPO General Assembly on September 24, 2001.
12 The informal consultations mentioned in the previous paragraph were continued in respect of the officers of the other 15 Assemblies and other bodies, resulting in a proposal for the election of other officers that was presented by the newly-elected Chair of the WIPO General Assembly, Ambassador Álvaro de Mendonça E Moura (Portugal). On the basis of the said proposal, seven of the 15 Assemblies and other bodies elected their officers on September 26, 2001, and the remaining eight Assemblies and other bodies elected their officers on September 28, 2001.
13 The list of the officers elected for the 16 Assemblies and other bodies appears in document A/36/INF/4.
14 The newly-elected Chair of the General Assembly, Ambassador Álvaro de Mendonça E Moura (Portugal) expressed heartfelt thanks for the trust that the General Assembly had placed in him by electing him to preside over it. His country had been among the first to accede to the original Paris Convention and later to the Berne Convention, and to join WIPO in the first half of the 1970s. After giving assurances that he would do his utmost to help the present Assembly contribute to the Organization’s continuing development and success, he added that the position entrusted to him was all the more gratifying as it came just over 20 years after his first foreign diplomatic posting, to Geneva, at which time the activities of WIPO were already among his responsibilities. The growing scale and relevance of intellectual property was well known, as was the essential importance of protecting it in its various forms: from inventions to geographical indications in the industrial property field and from literary to photographic and audiovisual works in the copyright and related rights field, it covered a whole range of human creations which specifically occupied the economic and cultural environment, gradually working its way into education, health, entertainment, news and advertising, indeed into all the processes of economic and social development. There was a perceived need to maintain and improve the balance between the relative interests of the holders and the users and consumers of intellectual property rights, as recent events in the pharmaceutical industry had shown; current efforts to protect broadcasters and databases should continue, while the studies and discussions on the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore should be relaunched. It was important to deepen the institutional relationship between WIPO and other agencies such as the WTO and UNESCO, with a view to promoting cultural rights and the exchange of ideas as well as goods and services in the general interest, and to continue the efforts to ensure the effectiveness and legal security of electronic commerce.
15 The Chair stressed that the growing number of important non-governmental organizations admitted as observers to WIPO meetings bore witness both to society’s recognition of the Organization’s importance and to WIPO’s own concern for dialogue with, and for the needs and just expectations of, society. There were several challenges facing the present General Assembly. All those concerned had to ascertain how to proceed with the development of the international patent system, especially the reform of the PCT, or with Internet issues, and more specifically the control of domain names. He was also sure that the Assembly would continue to pay particular attention to cooperation for development in the field of intellectual property, thereby ensuring that the use and protection of intellectual property benefited the entire international community. He could personally testify to the WIPO Secretariat’s dedication to the latter issue following his participation in a seminar for LDCs held in Lisbon at the beginning of the year. It was important, finally, to provide WIPO with adequate operational means with which to operate, and, gently but firmly, to undertake the constitutional reform of the Organization, to provide it with bodies and procedural machinery that would bring it up to date and make it more efficient for the new century and for the full discharge of the responsibilities entrusted to it. He also mentioned the various projects on hand for the introduction of new information technology. He paid tribute to the work of Marino Porzio, the outgoing Chair of the General Assembly, and expressed confidence in the continuing cooperation of all delegations as well as that of the Secretariat and its energetic Director General.
16 The Chair stated that he could not end his address without expressing some words of heartfelt condolence to the Delegation of the United States of America in the face of the tragic events that they had so recently endured; however, as life had to go on, he wished to emphasize, as indeed the authorities of New York and Washington had, that the best mark of respect for the victims was that no terrorism should be allowed to succeed, and that elsewhere work too should go on, conscientiously and in concert.
17 The Director General made the following statement: “let me extend a warm welcome to you all and look forward to close discussions with you over the next few days to help ensure that WIPO continues to work with maximum impact in our rapidly expanding intellectual property universe; and with maximum relevance to both constituencies—Member States and market sector interests. The Organization’s achievements of the past year reflect the way the boundaries of the intellectual property system are being stretched and reexamined, and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of them.
Use of the PCT has hit a record high, with over 90,000 international applications received in 2000, an increase of almost 23% over the previous year. Even more striking was the 80% increase in applications received from developing countries. This upward sweep is continuing with figures for the first eight months of this year showing a further 21.6% increase. I think these figures, which are related to our demystification of intellectual property policy, speak for themselves.
During the past twelve months, six new accessions brought the number of States party to the Madrid Protocol to 54. The number of States party to the Protocol now exceeds that of the Madrid Agreement, even though the Protocol has been in force for less than six years. Almost 23,000 registrations were recorded under the Madrid System during 2000, which is nearly 15% higher than the figure for the previous year. So another major income‑generating system is expanding positively.
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center continues to be a leading provider of quick, efficient and cost-effective means of resolving disputes concerning Internet domain names. It has received over 3,000 cases related to generic top-level domains – such as .com and .org – and decisions have been rendered in over 80% of these cases.
The Center has also started receiving cases related to country-code top-level domains, which were the subject of a Conference organized by WIPO in February of this year that resulted in the preparation and publication of a set of WIPO best practices for the prevention and resolution of intellectual property disputes in this area.
At the request of Member States, the Organization launched a Second Internet Domain Name Process to examine the issue of cybersquatting in relation to personal names, International Non-Proprietary Names for pharmaceutical substances, names of international governmental organizations, geographical indications and trade names. Six regional consultations held at the beginning of the year provided vital input for the final report which has just been published and is now available on the WIPO website.
The Center also worked with an international consortium of the world’s leading technology companies, called ASPIC, to prepare and publish – in May – best practices for dispute avoidance and resolution for the application service provider industry.
Domain names also figured among the many topics discussed during WIPO’s Second International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property that took place here in Geneva last week. The Conference focused on issues, such as on-line publishing, domain names, business method patents, cultural heritage and the increasingly urgent problem of the digital divide, which I would prefer to call the knowledge divide.
The work being undertaken by the Organization in these areas is aimed at making the Internet a more stable environment in which to communicate and do business.
The Organization’s commitment to information and communication technology is evidenced by several major projects designed to maximize benefits for Member States and users.
WIPOnet will start operations next month when key equipment recently installed in WIPO headquarters will enable national intellectual property offices to be linked to WIPO and to each other via a secure network. Full WIPOnet services include general web access, web-hosting services, remote participation in WIPO meetings and access to distance learning as well as secure e-mail, document transfer and discussion groups. WIPO is in the process of providing Internet connectivity to those national offices without it and successful installation and testing have just been completed in a first group of countries. It is expected that all national offices will be linked to WIPOnet by the end of next year.
The IMPACT project designed to fully automate the activities performed under the PCT began the first phase of its operations, dealing with the scanning and storage of PCT‑related documents, on September 13 and is set for completion at the end of next year. The project will allow the transfer of PCT documentation between WIPO and national offices in electronic form and by electronic means, including the secure Internet link provided by WIPONET. The saving in time and other resources made possible by this project is immense as it will avoid the physical reproduction and transfer of millions of pages of patent documents.
Regarding progressive development and codification of intellectual property law, promotion of adherence to the WIPO Internet treaties, geared to ensuring copyright protection in cyberspace, remains a priority for the Organization. Ratification’s and accessions to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty currently stand at 27 and 24, respectively. The WIPO Internet Treaties stand a very good chance this year of reaching the 30 ratification’s or accessions necessary to bring them into force, and their effect will promote the protection of intellectual property in the digital age.
A Diplomatic Conference on a new complementary instrument to protect the rights of audiovisual performers was held in December of last year and, although a final agreement was not reached, substantial progress was made on 19 of the 20 draft provisions.
While refocusing ongoing activities, new initiatives have been launched in strategically important areas. In May, a process started to streamline and simplify the PCT and in the same month discussions started on harmonization of substantive patent law. In addition, new initiatives have been proposed to discuss the current state of the international patent system and objectives, opportunities and priorities for change, with a view to agreeing upon an agenda for the future development of the system to enable it to operate to the maximum benefit of the international intellectual property community, stakeholders and users.
Activities in the cooperation for development sector have strengthened and deepened with increasing emphasis being placed on partnership and on empowering national and regional intellectual property systems to contribute more effectively to national development programs. Our strategic goal has always been to build institutions that will create a lasting legacy. This goal is clearly evidenced by the Nationally-Focused Action Plans, the successful results of which are already creating a positive impact.
Cooperation with countries in transition is being strengthened in all fields and the Organization is focused on their special needs, taking into account their individual levels of development and priorities.
WIPO continued to follow up on its commitment to Least-Developed Countries, holding a High-Level Interregional Roundtable in February, which drafted the WIPO Lisbon Declaration on Intellectual Property for LDCs. The Organization subsequently produced a set of “deliverables” for sustainable development of intellectual property systems for LDCs, which it presented at the UN Third Conference on LDCs held in Brussels in May. In addition, WIPO, along with the World Trade Organization, also launched a new initiative in June this year to help LDCs maximize the benefits of intellectual property. The feedback was positive, and we continue to believe with them that intellectual property is a critical tool for their economic growth and economic development. Our objective therefore continues to be to help LDCs to produce, compete and trade.
The new Collective Management of Copyright tools in certain parts of the world have not only given rise to successful outcomes, but have improved the financial performance of the communities concerned and have created a positive effect on the GDP of the countries themselves.
The WIPO Worldwide Academy’s distance learning program has been attracting increasing interest worldwide. Some 2, 200 registrations have already been made this year compared to some 1,700 for the whole of last year. These numbers are expected to increase once the Arabic, Chinese and Russian versions of the module are introduced. The Academy is virtually present in all parts of our universe, addressing a critical priority of many nations, that is, human development.
The potential of the intellectual property system as a means of empowerment for nations, individuals and business is one of WIPO’s central messages for the 21st century. With this in mind, the Organization moved forward with its agenda for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. An international Forum on Intellectual Property and SMEs, organized jointly in February in Milan by WIPO and Italy’s Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade, was aimed at ensuring SMEs are better able to capitalize on the potential of the intellectual property system for their commercial development and competitiveness. In June, WIPO’s new website specifically for SMEs went online. The site provides precise responses to business questions pertaining to intellectual property and reaches out to policy-makers, SME support institutions and entrepreneurs.
An initiative aimed at exploring the potential of intellectual property protection from a new perspective took place in May with the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. Member States supported further work to advance discussions on the intellectual property aspects of these assets, and WIPO will submit to the next meeting, model intellectual property contractual clauses for access to genetic resources and benefit sharing.
The Office of Global Communications and Public Diplomacy’s efforts to demystify intellectual property and disseminate information to all quarters expanded broadly during the year. The WIPO websites drew some 114 million hits during the first eight months of this year, compared to 80 million hits for all of 2000. A Russian‑language version of the site was launched this month, and work on a Chinese version will begin soon.
Under the theme “Creating the Future Today,” April 26, 2001, was celebrated as the first World Intellectual Property Day, providing an opportunity to highlight the significance of creativity and innovation in people’s daily lives and in the betterment of society. A description of the various activities carried out by national offices and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to celebrate the Day can be found on the WIPO website.
Other areas of focus for the Organization include: the work on constitutional reform which is continuing at a steady pace; and work in the area of enforcement of intellectual property rights. In addition, the input of the Policy Advisory Commission and Industry Advisory Commission continue to provide inspiration and insight to the work of the Organization.
Such intensive and extensive activities of our Organization would not have been possible without sacrifice from the men and women who make it thrive; the staff of this global body. I applaud the staff of the Organization and would like to pay tribute to each and every one of them, acknowledging that their contribution is recognized and appreciated.
“We are living in a time of great change, when human creativity is providing us with enormous potential for good – making it possible to live longer and healthier lives in an increasingly culturally rich environment and allowing us to communicate and interact with each other on an unprecedented level. We believe that the intellectual property system makes a unique contribution to that potential for good and, without exaggeration, for peace, by encouraging and fueling the upward creative spiral. However, we cannot remain oblivious to the serious questions being asked by governments, non-governmental organizations and civil society concerning combating HIV/AIDS and other issues such as access to genetic resources, the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore and copyright on the Internet.
“The raison d’être of the international intellectual property system is to encourage individual creativity so that it can benefit us all – economically, socially and culturally. WIPO must remain flexible, proactive, creative and focused in order to continue to work towards that goal. This requires constant vigilance in ensuring that the international intellectual property system evolves in a manner that retains an effective balance between the interests of rightsholders and the best interests of society. The need to explore and redefine the boundaries of the international intellectual property system in line with the significant movements in thinking and attitudes now taking place is key to our Organization remaining a powerful force for the betterment of societies everywhere.
“Many of you tell me that the thrust of our vision on demystification of intellectual property as a critical element for economic growth and wealth creation is the right one. But a vision has to be turned into a reality, and that is why I have mentioned some of the tools we have created to construct that reality. Your continuing inspiration and solidarity can ensure that our vision and its tools are crowned with success. The agenda of your Organization has never been so interrelated, so pressing or so complex. It requires from all of us new ways of thinking, new tools and new commitment of political will. I know that I can count on your support so that the Organization can respond even more closely to the needs of the international intellectual property community and the hopes and aspirations of the peoples of the world, affirming my belief that intellectual property is foreign to no culture and native to all nations.
“I see our Assembly here today as a symbol of unity, tolerance, international cooperation and great hope for the future of intellectual property. Our work is a work of partnership that maintains the particularities and the specific vocations of each nation, and strengthens collaboration for common action.”
18 The Delegation of Brazil recalled that the Assemblies of Member States, at their last session, decided to adopt Portuguese as a working language in certain meetings of WIPO. This was a significant step forward which reflected the proposals of the Portuguese-speaking delegations in the Assemblies of Member States of WIPO. The Delegation of Brazil expressed its wish that permanent observer status would be given to the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. The Delegation reiterated its conviction that the use of Portuguese would be an instrument for cooperation for development and the full integration of the Portuguese-speaking communities into the activities of the Organization. In this regard, the Delegation wished to thank the Director General for his introductory statement and for his interest and personal efforts in promoting the use of Portuguese in WIPO, and also wished to express its satisfaction in seeing a Portuguese elected as Chair of the General Assembly, in view of the historical and cultural ties that existed between the two countries.