This link is to an interesting piece on IP Watch written by Dr Michael Geist discussing the organisation, role and possible intentions of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The writer suggests that lack of developing country participation in talks for this agreement could mean:
“non-member countries will face great pressure to adhere to the treaty or to implement its provisions within their domestic laws, particularly as part of bilateral or multilateral trade negotiations”
He also observed:
”it seems odd to conclude an anti-counterfeiting treaty without the participation of the countries most often identified as the sources or targets of counterfeiting activities”
In his summary he makes a case for more involvement from developing countries to have their say:
“the developing world faces a stark choice – remain on the ACTA sidelines and face a future filled with pressure to implement its provisions or demand a seat at the table now [to] … ensure that the counterfeiting and piracy concerns of the global community are appropriately addressed.”
Clearly a controversial topic with talk of “secret” meetings and leaked information – there is a hint of conspiracy even! For this view see docs in connection to the agreements Wikipedia page and the Inquisitr site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement or
For a more sober view from the technology press see:
There is a slightly different format for the blog posts this week as I am attending a workshop in Mombasa meeting with a group of agricultural IP practitioners from all around the world; mainly from developing countries. This is truly a unique group of individuals and if anyone knows of any similar group it would be great to hear from you!
We at CAS-IP have hoped this group of people would be able to support one another by sharing their experiences and ideas – and today we received confirmation that this growing community of practice/professional society has indeed been of great use to participants. There is too much to blog now, but over dinner I asked my fellow diners what the most interesting thing they had learnt today was. These were a couple of the replies:
Victoria Henson-Apollonio from CAS-IP said:
“I noted that there was a lot of expectation that the new DG of WIPO, Francis Gurry, would bring about real change on the development agenda.”
Beverly Trayner (the workshop facilitator for some of the sessions, and a community of practice expert) said:
“what really struck me was how important the international group is, and how people identify with that wider group, gain strength and empowerment from it”
What I had learnt today came from a great discussion about how to ensure research outputs are transferred to the end user (i.e the farmer). The simple and plain comment that stuck most in my mind was a comment from a participant from Tanzania. A comparison between the African and the US/European models of seed markets was made. Within the context of a lack of a viable (private sector) seed market in Africa to bring research outputs to end users, it was pointed out that this isn’t possible in developed economies where agriculture enjoys huge subsidies – so why should it be expected in Africa?
Anyway, that is just a sample. We were a small group at dinner tonight – it had been a long day - but I plan to record some more insights over the next couple of days for a future blog post. For now I am exhausted and going to bed before another full day of meetings tomorrow!
This week the new DG of WIPO, Francis Gurry gave his acceptance speech to the WIPO General Assembly. See the above IPKat blog post for the “substantive IP bits”. I am waiting for some reactions from colleagues about this, and will update the post shortly with their points of view.
Coinciding with the welcome of Gurry, there seems to be no shortage of articles providing and pointing to critical analysis of the current patent system. This week the BBC reported on a report from the International Expert Group on Biotechnology, Innovation and Intellectual Property. It talks of “old” and “new” IP models, problems associated with “Fortress IP”, and the need to form partnerships to encourage sharing and collaboration. Click here for the complete report. Quoting the president of the group, Richard Gold; “The era of Old intellectual property – the overuse of patents, copyrights and trade-marks – is ending.”
Posted in general IP, patent