Why harmonisation has a future
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Why harmonisation has a future

Things are moving again at WIPO. That was the clear message from IP negotiators speaking at the Fordham IP conference in New York

Taking part in a panel on multilateral IP issues and policy, WIPO Deputy Director General Jim Pooley said there had been "inertia" in international negotiations since the TRIPs Agreement in 1995, with "almost religious" differences between some countries.

But, said Pooley, the tide is now turning. He noted that the US America Invents Act, passed in September, was a step towards harmonisation and added that WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Patents last year made progress by agreeing a substantive agenda.

Pooley also commended the work undertaken in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, and in particular the negotiations on an Audiovisual Performers Treaty.

The AVP Treaty is set to be signed in Beijing in June, 12 years after a Diplomatic Conference on the same subject closed without agreement.

Justin Hughes of Cardozo Law School, who has negotiated the AVP Treaty on behalf of the US government over the past three years, agreed that there are signs of progress at WIPO.

He said this was partly down to "the natural tide of events": "Things had got so bad at WIPO that they had to get better."

He also said there is also now more pressure on WIPO due to bilateral and plurilateral negotiations elsewhere.

Allied to this trend, said Hughes, there is now greater honesty in negotiations: "People can say: these are my restraints, and the political pressures on me."

"There are precipices at WIPO we've been able to draw back from," added Hughes.

Asked by host Hugh Hansen whether they are optimistic that negotiations will improve in the next five years, the panellists were generally positive.

But they also warned that the world has become more complicated. Negotiations are "a much harder slog now," said Shira Perlmutter of the USPTO, thanks to public controversy over issues such as copyright and the internet, as well as changing dynamics between developed and so-called developing countries.

Perlmutter said states such as the BRIC countries are increasingly visible at WIPO and called this "a healthy development".

Read more about the negotiations leading to the AVP Treaty, and other discussions at WIPO, in an extended feature (including an exclusive interview with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry) in Managing IP's April issue, just published.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The full list of finalists has been revealed and the winners will be presented on June 20 at the Metropolitan Club in New York
A team of IP and media law specialists has joined from SK Schwarz alongside a former counsel at Sky
The Irish government has delayed a planned referendum on whether Ireland should join the Unified Patent Court, prompting concern about when a vote may take place
With more than 250 winners recognised during the ceremony, there are many reasons to be positive about the health of the IP industry in EMEA
Practitioners say the USPTO’s latest guidance has some helpful clarifications and is a good reminder of the importance of checking AI outputs
Susanne Schmidt discusses why trademarks are more than 'just a name' and why she would choose green farming as an alternative career
The former head of life sciences at Kramer Levin has joined Orrick, a firm that hopes to grow in the sector
Lionel Martin of August Debouzy and Kristof Neefs at Inteo share how they prevailed in a UPC Court of Appeal case surrounding access to documents
Counsel say ‘strange’ results have increased their reliance on subscription-based search platforms, but costs are not being shifted onto clients yet
The firm was among multiple winners at a record-breaking 2024 ceremony held in London on April 11
Gift this article