WIPO's open forum on the Draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT)
20 January 2006
WIPO will hold an "Open Forum on the Draft Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) from 1-3 March 2006 at its headquarters in Geneva.
CPTech has obtained a copy of a provisional program dated 21 December 2005. It is understood that the program was a result of a consultative process held between WIPO Member States and the WIPO Secretariat last year. An official at WIPO confirmed to me yesterday that not all the speakers listed in the provisional program have accepted their invitations. WIPO is still in the process of contacting some of the speakers and should hopefully publish a new version of the provisional program with confirmed speakers on its website before the end of the week.
The names of countries that proposed speakers include Australia, Chile, China, Denmark, the Friends of Development (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Iran, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Venezuela), Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
The three day meeting is thematically divided into 5 broad topics: Theme 1-Harmonization of Substantive Patent Law: Purpose, Approaches and Limits, Theme II-Subjects of Patent Law Proposed for Harmonization, Theme III-Patents as a Source of Information and Innovation, Transfer of Technology and Licensing Practices, Theme IV-New Technologies and their Specificities and Theme V-The Interface of the Patent System with Other Areas of Public Policy. Each of these 5 themes is divided into smaller sub-themes which will be discussed below.
Some names proposed by the Friends of Development (FOD) include:
Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University) to speak on International Patent Law Harmonization, Development and Policy Space for Flexibility in Theme I (co-proposed by Chile).
Mr. Peter Drahos (The Australian National University) to speak on Patent Law Harmonization and the Draft SPLT in Theme I.
Mr. Carlos Correa (University of Buenos Aires) to speak on Prior Art-related issues (definition of prior art, novelty and inventive step) in Theme II and to speak on Sufficiency of Disclosure (enabling disclosure, disclosure of prior art, best mode) in Theme II.
Mr. Joshua Sarnoff (American University) to speak on Disclosure of Origin of Genetic Resources, including Compliance with Prior Informed Consent and Benefit Sharing in Theme II.
Mr. Christopher Garrison (Consultant, Welcome Trust Research Team and the London School of Economics and Political Science) to speak on Exclusions from Patentability, Industrial Applicability and Technical Effect in Theme II and to speak on Patents and Public Health, including Second Use Patents in Theme V.
Mr. Sisule Musungu (South Centre) to speak on Exceptions to Patent Rights in Theme II.
Sir John Sulston (Former Director Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute) to speak on Biotechnological Inventions (Patenting of Genes and Life Forms, and the Impact of Patenting on Upstream Science) in Theme IV.
Rishab Ghosh (University of Maastricht) to speak on Software Patents in Theme IV.
Some names proposed by the US include:
Mr. Jonathan Zuck (Association for Competitive Technology) to Speak on International Patent Law Harmonization (The View of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) in Theme I, to speak on Software Patents in Theme IV and to speak on the Scope of the Patent System and Alternative System and Alternative Models to Promote Innovation in Theme V. According to a certain expert,
Since 1998, Mr. Zuck has lobbied on behalf of Microsoft, one of his group's members, on issues ranging from fighting off anti-trust actions, to tax breaks, to promoting software patents in Europe.
Mr. Joseph Straus (Max Planck Institute for International Property) to speak on Grace Period in Theme II.
Mr. Benjamin Zycher (Pacific Research Institute) to speak on Disclosure of Origin of Genetic Resources, including Compliance with Prior Informed Consent and Benefit Sharing in Theme II.
Mr. Jeffery Hawley (Eastman Kodak Co.) to speak on to speak on Exclusions from Patentability, Industrial Applicability and Technical Effect in Theme II.
Mr. Jeffrey Kushan (Sidney, Austin, Brown and Wood) to speak on Biotechnological Inventions (Patenting of Genes and Life Forms, and the Impact of Patenting on Upstream Science) in Theme IV.
In addition to speakers specifically requested for by WIPO Member States other names appear on the program presumably added at the best of the WIPO Secretariat since no Member States are attached to their names.
Some of these speakers include:
Mr. Gerard Girour (European of Patent Office) to speak on Accessing the Technology Disclosed in Patent Data and Publications in Theme III.
David Martin (CEO of M-CAM) to speak on the Freedom to Operate (Patent Landscapes) in Theme III. His views on the patent establishment can be found here-
Mr. Dominique Guellec (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to Speak on The Role of Patent Statistics in Theme III.
Mr. Rigo Wenning (World Wide Web Consortium) to speak on Patents and Standards in Theme IV.
Mr. Benoit Mueller (Business Software Alliance) to speak on Patents and Standards in Theme IV.