Thursday, December 08, 2005

WIPO developments and upcoming meetings

8 December 2005
Thiru Balasubramaniam

Today the WIPO Secretariat is holding "Consultations on the Open Forum on the Draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty" with Member States in an effort to vet names and topics for this open forum to be held from March 1-3, 2006. According to sources close to the discusssion, Benoît Müller, Director of Software Policy Europe, Business Software Alliance has been nominated to speak on inter-operability issues. David Martin, an expert in domestic and international technology transfer and in patent enforcement and issuance and the founding CEO of M-CAM has been proposed to speak on the patent landscape.

Here are some excerpts of a speech David Martin gave in November 2004 on real economic consequences of the non-accountability of the patent establishment.

"Some of you are familiar with what I talk about when I mean the ethernet plug. That wonderful little thing that actually looks like a phone plug, just a few extra more little spiky things on them. There currently are 683 patents in force covering... the ethernet plug. Not the use of it, the plug.

That means every time any of you actually plugs that thing into the wall, there's an outside chance that you're actually infringing when you even plug your computer into the ethernet plug, much less to a goddamn thing with your ethernet once you get it hooked up.

You actually don't have a place to start. You can't plug a computer in without infringing a series of patents on plugging your computer in...

Our patent systems have sovereign immunity from any economic consequence and until that reform happens, Ladies and Gentlemen, we're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic."
( Martin041109En)

Here are the dates associated with the WIPO Standing Committee on Patents.

SCP Open Forum: March 1 to 3, 2006
Informal session of the SCP: April 10 to 12, 2006
Formal session of the SCP (if any): July 3 to 7, 2006

WIPO Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda

The dates for the Provisional Committee Meetings on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) have been set. The dates for the first session are from February 20 to 24, 2006. The dates for the second session are from June 26 to 30 2006. The agenda for the first session of the WIPO PCDA can bee found at this site:

WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore
The next meeting of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore will take place on April 24, 2006 to April 28, 2006.

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR)
The next meeting of the WIPO SCCR will meet from May 1, 2006 to May 5, 2006.

WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE)
The Third Session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) meets from May 15, 2006 to May 17, 2006.