The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Development Agenda is a Member States-driven process which seeks to place the “development dimension” at the core of the global intellectual property (IP) system. In October 2007, the General Assembly established the WIPO Development Agenda to mainstream development into the Organization’s work programs. It adopted 45 recommendations and established the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP).

This blogpost aims to highlight the significance of the WIPO Development Agenda and the current state of play with reference to core projects under the Agenda.

The CDIP mandate includes to: (i) Develop a work-program for implementation of the 45 recommendations; (ii) Monitor, assess, discuss and report on the implementation of all recommendations adopted, and for that purpose it shall coordinate with relevant WIPO bodies; (iii) Discuss IP and development related issues as agreed by the Committee, as well as those decided by the General Assembly. The CDIP holds two meetings every year and its reports and recommendations are presented annually to the WIPO General Assembly. The key clusters of the Development Agenda recommendations in order of prominence are: (a) norm-setting, flexibilities, public policy and public domain; (b) technology transfer, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Access to Knowledge; (c) institutional matters including mandate and governance; d) assessment, evaluation and impact studies; and (e) technical assistance and capacity building among others.

There are currently several projects under implementation including a Pilot Project on IP and Design Management for Business Development in Developing and LDCs; a Project on Capacity Building in the Use of Appropriate Technology-Specific Technical and Scientific Information as a Solution for Identified Development Challenges – Phase II; a Project on IP and Socio-Economic Development – Phase II; a project on IP, Tourism and Culture: Supporting Development Objectives and Promoting Cultural Heritage in Egypt and Other Developing Countries.

The completed projects include: a Conference on “Mobilizing Resources for Development; the IP Technical Assistance Database (IP TAD); Specialized Databases’ Access and Support – Phase I and II; the IP Development Matchmaking Database (IP DMD); A Pilot Project for the Establishment of “Start-Up” National IP Academies – Phase I and II; Smart IP Institutions Project; Innovation and Technology Transfer Support Structure for National Institutions; Improvement of National, Sub Regional and Regional IP Institutional and User Capacity; IP and the Public Domain; IP and Competition Policy; IP, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the Digital Divide and Access to Knowledge; Developing Tools for Access to Patent information – Phase I and II; Project on Enhancement of WIPO’s Results-Based Management (RBM) Framework to Support the Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Activities; IP and Product Branding for Business Development in Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs); Patents and the Public Domain; IP and Brain Drain; IP and the Informal Economy; Strengthening the Capacity of National IP Governmental and Stakeholder Institutions to Manage, Monitor and Promote Creative Industries, and to Enhance the Performance and Network of Copyright Collective Management Organizations; Project on Capacity Building in the Use of Appropriate Technology-Specific; Technical and Scientific Information as a Solution for Identified Development Challenges – Phase I; Project on IP and Socio-Economic Development – Phase II; Open Collaborative Projects and IP-Based Models; Enhancing South-South Cooperation on IP and Development Among Developing Countries and LDCs; IP and Technology Transfer: Common Challenges – Building Solutions.

The new projects currently approved are: Strengthening and Development of the Audiovisual Sector in Burkina Faso and Certain African Countries – Phase II; Project on the Use of Information in the Public Domain for Economic Development; and Cooperation on IPRs Education and Professional Training with Judicial Training Institutes in developing countries and LDCs.

Looking forward, there is need for the future work of the CDIP to address the following: progress on implementation of DA Recommendations, independent review of the implementation of DA Recommendations, Member State inputs on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relevant to WIPO’s work, Member State needs and proposals on activites related to technology transfer, innovation and technology transfer support structures for national institutions.

Sources: George Ghandour, Presentation at WIPO-WTO Colloquium for Teachers of Intellectual Property, June 13-24, 2016