Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WIPO Watching

We are getting near the election of a new DG at WIPO. Here's the latest bulletin from IP-Watch.

The Pakistan Daily Times is painting this to be a struggle between Western nations and the Islamic world.

Some diplomats who follow UN activities in Geneva say the WIPO election could reflect a wider struggle for influence in the world body between Western nations and Islamic countries and their allies -- African states, Russia, China and Cuba. ‘North’ countries have 30 seats on the committee, the OIC has 18 and non-Islamic African and Asian states – including China, North Korea and Russia – that normally line up with the OIC in the Rights Council, have 20.
The field is now down to three candidates. Here are their latest reported vote totals:

Francis Gurry (Australia) 26
José Graça Aranha (Brazil) 18
Masood Khan (Pakistan) 13

The election of DG who has broadly based respect and credibility and who has expertise in IP, trade law and the way things happen Geneva and other key places could do much to restore a renewed and respected WIPO. This is crucial in order to ensure decent minimum standards of substantive IP law and enforcement world wide but also to ensure that IP law is not dictated by a few powerful lobbyists in Washington and Brussels.


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