Friday, April 03, 2009

UNCITRAL and IP Security Interests

UNCITRAL is having another meeting about this on April 27, 2009, so it seems. I know about this only because a UK based blog specializing in this topic is upset that the UK government has given only two weeks notice for consultation. HT - as is frequently the case - to the IPKAT.

As far as I know, the Canadian government - which is very influential behind the scenes in this UNCITRAL process - has given no notice to Canadian stakeholders. In fact, a Canadian official from the Department of Justice has served as the Chairperson of the responsible UNCITRAL working group. As far as I know, I am still on the Canadian Department of Justice's email list for this - so I assume that I would have received anything sent out.

This UNCITRAL effort may or may not be useful and productive. But it seems that Canadian stakeholders will be among the last to know.

Even if the the problem with late distribution of documents lies with UNCITRAL, this is not the way to inform stakeholders and to get their ultimate acceptance of whatever may be the result of UNCITRAL's work.

I have noted the inadequate consultation by the Canadian government with Canadian stakeholders previously here.

PS - I have confirmed that IPIC , which is Canada's leading dedicated IP organization, has also not received anything or been consulted about the April 27, 2009 meeting.

PS #2 - The comment below appears to be from a senior person at UNCITRAL. The documents he refers to (without a link) are indeed available here. Although dated in January and February of this year, the PDF properties date for the substantive documents is March 17, 2009 - which suggests that they may have been posted as early as that date. The agenda for the April 27 meeting goes back to November and bears a PDF properties date of January 13, 2009. I don't know when these documents were actually posted.

While I'm pleased to pass along information such as this, Canadian stakeholders should not have to depend on my blog, much less foreign based blogs, to learn about these types of developments, esepcially when our Government is directly involved. Moreover, Canadian stakeholders would normally have input to this process only through the Canadian government. IPIC is not an NGO in this case, because it is not an international organization. This is consistent with traditional UN practice.

The issues inovlved in this UNCITRAL project are extremely complex and the docuemnts require a lot of time to digest, even for experts.

To its credit, WIPO recently held a day long program on March 10, 2009. However, as far as I know, Canada had no involvement and past Canadian work played no part in the program. Moreover, the private sector cannot simply jump on a plane and go to Geneva for a day to keep up to speed on issues such as this. That is why we depend on our government to represent our interests and and to inform us of current developments.

PS #3

"Spiros" below is presumably Mr. Spiros Bazinas at UNCITRAL who posted this on the IP Finance blog:

The April 2009 meeting of the Working Group is not the last meeting. The draft IP Annex should be completed by the Working Group early in 2010 and by the Commission in the spring of 21010. [sic] So, there is ample time for comment either to the UK or other Government, other IGO, NGO or directly to UNCITRAL.
This is useful, although it is questionable as to how effective any private sector submissions can be at this late stage. However, Mr. Bazinas, at least, to his credit seems amenable to communication and he kindly provided his email address, as noted above.



  1. Consultation by the Canadian Government is a matter for the Canadian Government. However, UNCITRAL documents are on our web site ( The information includes several papers presented at an International Colloquium on Security Interests in Intellectual Property, organized jointly by WIPO and UNCITRAL, and held in January 2007 with the participation of IP stakeholders from all over the wolrd. The UNCITRAL Secretariat does have a wide distribution list, which includes several stakeholders from Canada. And IPIC was represented at more than one of our meetings, which would lead me to believe that they are informed. Finally, WIPO recently held an information meeting on IP financing(

  2. I have one comment and one suggestion. The comment first. We have had comments from the private sector since day 1 of this project, and we will be entertaining such comments until the last day, which is more than a year away. The suggestion now. Have a look at our papers on our web site and send us your comments. It is not too late to submit comments!