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STRATEGIC DIALOGUE ON COHERENCE BETWEEN MULTILATERAL, REGIONAL AND BILATERAL PROCESSES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND A PRO-DEVELOPMENT AGENDA ON IPRS

At the Founder's Hall, University of Miami
20 November 2003

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Description and Annoted Agenda | Participants | Summary of discussions


The context

Intellectual property (IP) has become an important item on the trade agenda of negotiations at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. These negotiations are having a strong impact on the design and implementation of public policies and strategies of many national Governments in many fields including health, agriculture, environment, education, research and development, and technology transfer.

After failure of the WTO Cancun Ministerial, political analysts have divergent perceptions of what could happen in current IPRs negotiations. One of those perceptions considers that WTO's Cancun Ministerial will have an inevitable negative impact on prospects for an over-ambitious agenda or near-term results in the FTAA process and other regional negotiations. Another view indicates that recent declarations of interest by developing various countries in advancing negotiations bilaterally with major trade partners are exerting some pressure towards the renewal of multilateral discussions and consolidation regional processes as a the preferred frameworks for achieving "privileged economic/political relationships".

In these regional/bilateral processes many developing countries are concerned about the so-called TRIPS-plus agreements. These types of agreements tent to introduce commitments beyond those already included or consolidated in the minimum standards of the TRIPS Agreement. One of processes where TRIPS plus commitments could be developed is the negotiation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Two draft chapters on IPRs were disclosed to the public in the Quebec and Quito Ministerial respectively.

A challenge that policymakers in developing countries presently face -whether in international negotiations or in the design of national laws- is how to adapt existing IPRs mechanisms to promote local innovation and to identify new alternatives that could better address their development needs. Several such mechanisms have been identified in academic literature and new ones are starting to arise in national legislations. Existing alternatives include the use of utility models or petty patents, industrial design law, trade secrets, and trademarks and geographical indications. Some of the emerging options include hybrid exclusive rights, new sui generis systems in food and agriculture, compensatory liability regimes, preservation of scientific/technological data for follow-on research, and low cost collective management of rights for small-scale innovators and creators. This latest generation of mechanisms have basically been discussed by academia, and policy makers and influencers seem to be increasingly interested in them.

General objectives

The main objectives of this dialogue are the following:

1. Review the state of affairs and exchange views on the results of the WTO Cancun Ministerial and its impact on regional and bilateral negotiations on intellectual property and development policies;
2. Identifying key political and policy issues, processes and fora for promoting coherence in international policy-making on IPRs and for shaping development-centered IPR regimes.
3. Explore options and new alternatives to promote pro competitive approaches on IPRs as to achieve sustainable development goals.

The dialogue

The dialogue seeks to promote an open exchange of views regarding coherence in international, regional and bilateral processes and pro-competitive approaches on IPRs. Discussion will build on several of the lessons learned from the Bellagio Series on IPRs and development organized by the UNCTAD/ICTSD Project on Intellectual Property and Sustainable development. The dialogue involves experts including governments, IGOs, NGOs, academia, and research institutions.

This dialogue will be divided in two sessions. The first session will introduce the latest development in the IP field and ways and means to find coherence among various processes at the multilateral, regional and bilateral level. The second session will give general overview on existing and alternative pro competitive approaches on IPRs that are supportive of sustainable development goals.

In each session one keynote speaker will make general presentations on the issues at stake and four "commentators" will be invited to complement the each of those presentations. The presentations will be targeted to focus on providing an update of the policy state of play; targeted analysis on coherence; forthcoming opportunities; and, options. After each presentation, dialogue among participants will be open. The dialogue will end with a concluding discussion on prospective action and developments at the domestic, regional and multilateral levels.

Annotated agenda

9h00 - 9h15 Introduction to the dialogue, review of objectives and presentation of participants

Chair: Pedro ROFFE, Director of the UNCTAD-ICTSD Project on IPRs and Sustainable Development

Objectives:

  • Welcome to participants;
  • Introduce the objectives and methodology of the dialogue
  • Review outcomes and recommendations stemming from the Bellagio Series on IPRs and Development.

9h15 - 11h00 Session One: "Recent International Developments in the Area of Intellectual Property Rights"

Facilitator: David VIVAS-EUGUI, Programme Manager, Intellectual Property, Technology and Services, ICTSD

Overview presentation by:

Carlos CORREA, Director, Maestría en Política y Gestión de la Ciencia y la Tecnología Centro de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Brief reaction from:

Alma ARAIZA, General Director Adjunta, Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Intelectual

Monica ROSELL, Legal Adviser, Andean Community Secretariat

Objective:

Review the state of affairs and exchange views on the results of the WTO Cancun Ministerial and its impact on regional and bilateral negotiations on intellectual property and development policies.

Key questions:

  • Bearing in mind the Doha mandates on sustainable development and the development-centred nature of its agreed agenda, as well as the Doha process and developments at Cancun, to which intellectual property issues should developing countries pay particular attention?
  • In the post Cancun phase of WTO negotiations, which are the emerging and primary policy issues for developing countries?
  • Which are the implications of recent developments on so-called "TRIPs plus" provisions and standards at WIPO, the FTAA process and bilateral agreements/negotiations?

Open Discussion

11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

11h15-13h00 "Working Towards Coherence in IPRs Issues" (first part)

Open dialogue facilitated by: Pedro Roffe, UNCTAD-ICTSD

Inputs from:

Manon RESS, Research Associate, Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech): The lack of coherence in international agreements that relate to access to information (click)

13h00-14h00 Lunch

14h15-15h30 Session two: "Managing the Challenge of a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime"

Facilitator: David VIVAS-EUGUI, ICTSD

Overview presentation (click) by:

Assad OMER, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD and Pedro ROFFE, UNCTAD-ICTSD

Brief reaction from:

Elza MOREIRA MARCELINO DE CASTRO, Head of the Intellectual Property Division and National Coordinator for the FTAA Negotiating Group on Intellectual Property Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil

Federico CUELLO, Former WTO Ambassador, Dominican Republic: Comments to Reichman’s “Managing
the Challenge of a Globalized International IPR Regime”
(click)

Robert WEISSMAN, Co-Director, Essential Action

Objectives:

Explore options and new alternatives to promote pro competitive approaches on IPRs as to achieve sustainable development goals.

Key questions:

  • What could developing countries do to better manage their development strategies in an increasingly complex and globalised IPR regime?
  • What challenges will developing countries face when building their own decision-making processes to respond to the various international IP negotiations?
  • Which pro competitive IPRs system options and alternatives have been identified by literature and national legislations and practice?
  • Have existing options and alternative mechanisms proved to be effective or economically feasible?

Open Discussion

15h30-15h45 Coffee Break

15h45-17h15 "Working Towards Coherence in IPRs Issues" (part two)

Open dialogue facilitated by: Pedro Roffe, UNCTAD-ICTSD

Inputs from:

Marianne SCHAPER, Officer, Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Chile

17h15-18h00 Concluding discussion on prospective action and developments at the domestic, regional and multilateral levels

Facilitator: Pedro ROFFE, Director of the UNCTAD-ICTSD Project on IPRs and Sustainable Development


© ICTSD 2004 - Last Update: 05-Oct-2009