AGENDA ITEM 5: CONSIDERATION OF WORK PROGRAM FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ADOPTED RECOMMENDATIONS (CONTINUED)
Consideration of Documents: CDIP/8/INF/1 – External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development CDIP/9/14 – Management Response to the External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development (Document CDIP/8/INF/1) CDIP/9/15 – Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on an External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development CDIP/9/16 – Joint Proposal by the Development Agenda Group and the Africa Group on WIPO’s Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development CDIP/11/4 – Status of Implementation of Certain Recommendations Extracted from the Report on the External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Field of Cooperation for Development CDIP/12/7 – Manual on the Delivery of WIPO Technical Assistance 164 The Secretariat (Mr. Baloch) recalled that an external review of WIPO's technical assistance was undertaken within the context of the project on the RBM framework. The report was presented for the first time to the eighth session of the CDIP (document CDIP/8/INF/1). At the ninth session of the CDIP, as requested by Member States, the Secretariat presented a management response to the report (document CDIP/9/14). During the eighth session of the CDIP, an ad hoc working group was established and it met in the period between the eighth and ninth sessions. The report of the ad-hoc working group was presented to the Committee (document CDIP/9/15). A joint proposal by DAG and the African Group was also received and presented at the ninth session of the CDIP (document CDIP/9/16). At the tenth session of the CDIP, after discussing the report for three sessions, the Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare a document on the status of implementation of certain recommendations (document CDIP/11/4). In the eleventh session, the Committee requested the Secretariat to work on three specific areas, namely to develop a manual on the delivery of the technical assistance, to examine the technical assistance database with a view to enhancing its searching capabilities and to upgrade WIPO’s website in order for it to serve as a more effective and accessible resource. A manual on the delivery of technical assistance was prepared (document CDIP/12/7). On the two other issues, oral presentations would be provided. As mentioned by the Director-General, the WIPO website was completely revamped. There would be a presentation on the changes and how the website was more effective and accessible. A presentation would also be given on the technical assistance database. The Committee was invited to consider documents CDIP/8/INF/1, CDIP/9/14, CDIP/9/15, CDIP/9/16 and CDIP/11/4, as decided in the previous session.
165 The Delegation of Japan stated that the discussion should begin with presentations on the three areas that the Secretariat was requested to work on, followed by a discussion on those areas. A general discussion on all the listed documents could take place after that.
166 The Secretariat explained that the suggested order was based on the sequence in paragraph 7(b) of the Summary by the Chair for the last session. However, it was up to the Member States and the Committee to decide on how they would like to discuss the issue.
167 The Delegation of Brazil proposed that the discussion could begin with a presentation on the Secretariat’s work after the last session. The discussion on the implementation of the other recommendations on technical assistance could resume after that.
168 The Chair enquired as to whether the suggestion was acceptable to the Committee. This was agreed. He then invited the Secretariat to introduce the Manual.
169 The Secretariat (Mr. Onyeama) introduced document CDIP/12/7. The Committee had requested for a manual on technical assistance provided by the Organization. The aim was to provide a one-stop shop for information on all the technical assistance provided by the Organization. The Secretariat had previously prepared a shorter manual. However, the Committee informed the Secretariat that it would like a more comprehensive document to be prepared. Thus, the Secretariat engaged a consultant and worked with her to develop a manual (document CDIP/12/7). They had tried to make it as user friendly as possible. The preamble provided an indication of what the Manual sought to do. It was very comprehensive. As such, the Secretariat hoped that it was a suitable response to the request by Member States. Delegations were invited to comment on the Manual.
170 The Delegation of Japan, speaking on behalf of Group B, took note that the technical assistance website and Technical Assistance Database were functional. They provided a comprehensive picture of WIPO technical assistance and allowed beneficiaries to understand the technical assistance options that were available to meet their IP development needs. The Manual that was prepared and presented by the Secretariat at this session included useful and objective information from different perspectives and could provide the final piece in the picture on WIPO technical assistance.
171 The Delegation of Poland, speaking on behalf of CEBS, stated that the manual was a very useful tool. The information presented within was broad and objective. It was a new element in WIPO's technical assistance efforts. In addition to the technical assistance website and technical assistance database, the manual provided a picture of WIPO’s technical assistance efforts. The Group hoped that it would be widely and wisely used.
172 The Delegation of India requested the Secretariat to prepare and circulate the document in the form of a printed handbook or manual. This could be done after it was revised to take into account any observations by the Member States. Modifications may be required in areas such as the criteria for approving assistance and the time frame for delivery. Further information could be provided in those areas, such as their degree of priority for the Organization. The document would serve as a good resource if it was made more precise and circulated as a handbook.
173 The Delegation of Lithuania, speaking on behalf of the EU and its Member States, stated that the manual provided a very comprehensive overview of the enormous amount of technical assistance provided by WIPO. It would be helpful in shaping future debates on technical assistance. The EU and its Member States looked forward to studying it carefully. They were interested to know more about possible problems WIPO experienced in trying to deliver technical assistance as lessons may be learned for the future to enable WIPO's technical assistance to become more efficient and effective.
174 The Delegation of Spain endorsed the statement made by the Delegation of Lithuania on behalf of the EU and its Member States. The Delegation believed the manual contained a lot of useful information on WIPO technical assistance. It referred to the Funds-in Trusts (FITs) managed by WIPO on behalf of various Member States. The Delegation was pleased that the manual included information on FITs as many were not familiar with them. It would assist in making them and their activities more well-known. They were an important element of WIPO technical assistance.
175 The Delegation of Australia saw value in establishing the manual. As a donor to the WIPO FIT program, it saw benefit in such a manual being available to the Member States. It was confident that the manual would assist new donors to set up and administer successful FIT programs for the benefit of developing countries and LDCs. It would also aid in delivering successful targeted technical assistance activities. Australia’s development assistance activities were focused on capacity building and strengthening of IP rights administration systems. These occurred primarily in the Asia Pacific region through two significant technical assistance programs, i.e. the WIPO-Australia FIT program and the Regional Patent Examination Training (RPET) program. The Delegation provided a detailed outline of the latter in the previous session. As a point of clarification and noting Australia's focus on the FIT and RPET programs, the Delegation stated that Australia had shifted away from sponsoring annual events, as outlined on page 36 of the manual. It had sponsored events in the past and would continue to do so, where there was a need, on an ad-hoc basis.
176 The Delegation of Georgia stated that the manual was a very useful and concise document. It provided a clear framework for WIPO's development assistance activities. The Delegation looked forward to utilizing the manual for future technical assistance requests, especially in relation to FIT programs. It would like the manual to be printed as a brochure and distributed to all Member States.
177 The Delegation of Cameroon supported the suggestion by the Delegation of India for the document to be produced as a handbook to facilitate easy access. It would be very useful, particularly for developing countries and LDCs.
178 The Representative of the TWN noted that the manual contained very useful information on the range of activities undertaken by WIPO. However, certain aspects required clarification. For instance, the information in the manual did not seem to be limited to development cooperation activities per se and probably covered all WIPO initiatives including studies, the annual report, databases, tools and training programs. This was confusing as the document stated that technical assistance as per recommendation 1 of the DA should be demand driven and country specific. However, many of the activities in the document were not. They concerned specific entities. For instance, WIPO Re:Search and WIPO GREEN were about entities entering into bilateral licensing arrangements. PATENTSCOPE was a database for patent searches. It appeared inaccurate to consider some of these as technical assistance activities. A distinction should be made between technical assistance activities per se and all the other tools and initiatives that were provided. This was important as the manual stated that the development share was 21 percent of the total WIPO budget. It was not clear whether all the activities in manual were funded through that. The Representative then referred to the objectives of technical assistance and highlighted that the report on the external review explicitly indicated that the Organization lacked a clear understanding of the overall purpose of its development cooperation activities or “development oriented assistance”. In the manual, the section on objectives seemed to indicate that the main objective was to promote IP. This was drawn from the 1967 WIPO Convention. However, as WIPO was a UN agency, the Representative believed that the starting point should be the UN-WIPO Agreement which talked about the promotion of intellectual creativity and the transfer of industrial property. This could then be followed by a reference to the WIPO-WTO Agreement on assistance in the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement which included both obligations and rights, in particular, the right to use certain flexibilities. Reference could then be made to the recommendations of the DA. On those recommendations, the Representative noted that only recommendation 1 was mentioned in the manual, although a number of other recommendations were also relevant. These included recommendations 6, 7, 12, 13 and others. This should also be reflected in the introductory section. There was a lack of guidance on the delivery of technical assistance, including policies and guidelines that underpinned the delivery of assistance. Issues such as conflicts of interest, organization of meetings, ensuring a balance in the selection of speakers, and the accountability of consultants were addressed in the recommendations. There should be clear policies on all these issues as well as on extra-budgetary resources. The section on monitoring and evaluation only referred to the Internal Audit Oversight Division (IAOD) and the WIPO Independent Advisory Oversight Committee (IAOC). To date, the IAOD had conducted four evaluation reports on four CDIP projects. This was clearly inadequate in view of the range of activities. A discussion was required on how monitoring and evaluation could be further enhanced.
179 The Chair invited the Secretariat to respond to the questions and comments from the floor.
180 The Secretariat (Mr. Onyeama) stated that it also intended to issue the manual as a printed brochure. However, this was only a first draft. The Secretariat took note of the comment that the FITs were highlighted and would provide Member States with a better idea of how these functioned. The Secretariat referred to the observations made by the Representative of the TWN and recalled the background to the manual. Following the Deere-Roca report, some Member States suggested certain things that the Organization could do to implement the report. Although there was no consensus on how the report could be taken forward, the Secretariat felt this was something it could do and saw merit in doing so. It understood that the Member States wanted something that would provide an overview of what was on offer in terms of WIPO technical assistance. The Secretariat also understood that it should be simple and not get into the intricacies of technical assistance. This approach was adopted in preparing the Manual. Policy and monitoring issues were dealt with elsewhere. It was up to the Member States to decide on whether or not the document responded to their request. The responses of many Member States seemed to indicate that simplicity, neutrality and concreteness were the most important elements.
181 The Delegation of the United States of America was very pleased to see that the Manual provided a complete resource for countries and institutions that were interested in receiving technical assistance, and in particular, identified points of contact for stakeholders who wished to find such technical assistance or who wished to express their views on WIPO's activities. Due to the nature of providing points of contact, the Delegation was a bit concerned when other delegations wanted this to be made into a fixed and printed document. The Internet nature of the manual as it existed allowed for it to be constantly updated. The Delegation hoped that WIPO would continue to update the manual as regularly as possible so that it could remain a useful portal for all parties seeking further information on technical assistance activities. However, the Delegation recognized that for some countries, a printed volume may be more useful and cited the need to maintain those contact points as current as possible.
182 The Chair closed the discussion on the Manual given that there were no further observations from the floor. He then invited the Secretariat to report on the changes to WIPO’s website.
183 The Secretariat (Mr. Tarpey) recalled the request by the Committee to ensure that WIPO’s website was upgraded in order for it to serve as a more effective, accessible and up-to-date resource for communicating information on development cooperation activities. The first phase of the restructured, realigned and redesigned WIPO website was launched a fortnight ago. It allowed for easier access and more direct navigation to documents and information. The project was quite massive. The preparations took six to nine months and implementation took place over the last nine months. In the first phase, work was focused on the user. A lot of thought was put into how the user approached the website and the kind information that was sought. The Secretariat hoped that the new website would provide a conduit to a lot more information with improved navigation and access to all the activities of the Organization, including those in the area of development cooperation. There was a lot of information and work was continuing on increasing and improving content. However, there was now an efficient means to access information within the website.
184 The Secretariat (Ms. de Icaza) presented the highlights of the ongoing project on WIPO’s website and some of its achievements. As mentioned, work began a year and a half ago. The website required realignment to meet internal and external requirements. Delegations had often stressed on the need to improve the presentation of information. Thus, the realignment of the website was a key deliverable of the Strategic Realignment Program (SRP) in the initiative to Strengthen External Communications and Branding. The last realignment took place in 2007 and seven years was a long time in the technology field. Many things had changed. The advent of various mobile technologies was just one of many developments. It was now possible to surf the Internet not just through mobile phones but also through game consoles and other devices. The website was very inadequate in meeting these access requirements. User feedback was also gathered through surveys and interviews. The comments indicated that the website was not user friendly. A lot of information was either missing or out of date. The design was dull and it was difficult to navigate through the website. Many had to resort to the Google search engine to find information on the website. Fifty percent of those who visited the website were first-time users. If they did not understand what WIPO did even after spending a lot of time on the website, there was clearly a problem. Thus, the Secretariat decided to embark on this massive project. As in the case of WIPO’s physical location, the website was actually a massive collection of many different websites and databases. Thus, it was not just one building but a series of buildings. The scope had to be limited in order for something to be done quickly. First of all, there was a need to improve signage. Users needed to know how to navigate, where to go and what was in each building. A lot of content needed to be cleaned up and rationalized. Although there was still much to be done, a lot had been rationalized. For example, the website only contained one definition for copyright instead of 13, which was the case a few months ago. Pathways and synergies were created. Not too long ago, a user had to go to 13 or 14 different locations on the website to obtain information on patents. Henceforth there was a patent portal from which, users could get to all the different places where information on patents were available. A decision was made to exclude all external applications. Thus, databases such as IP-TAD, the Roster of Consultants (ROC) and PATENTSCOPE were outside the scope of the project, as there was simply not enough time to include them. Access to those databases was improved. However, the project did not work on the contents. A plan was then developed. It included four phases. The first phase focused on user experience. The users of the WIPO website covered a wide spectrum. Thus, a technique called “web personas” was employed. Nineteen personas were selected as user archetypes for the website. They formed the basis for the work that followed, including on redefining the information architecture, creating a responsive design and revising content. The results included improved navigation. New categories were created and resources were referenced. For example, new categories such policy and cooperation were included. The “About IP” category was important because half of the new users who visited the website were looking for basic information on IP. The section on news and events was moved to the navigation bar at the top of the page. Some content was revised and work would continue in the second phase. The navigation bar that used to exist on the left of the page on the previous site was removed. A series of related links were provided at the bottom of each page to create and improve synergies and pathways between the different areas of the site. The “Cooperation” category at the top of the page included a sub-category on development and this may be of particular interest to the Committee. The policy menu at the bottom of the page included a section on decision making and negotiating bodies. Information was also provided on policy areas involving global cooperation and this section would be enlarged. For example, it would be expanded to also include NGOs and IGOs. Additional policy topics such as innovation could also be included. In terms of content, efforts were being made to translate all the main pages into the six working languages. This was taking a bit of time as it also required implementation. The pages had been made longer with improved integration of images and videos. The tone was also less bureaucratic. For example, on the homepage, the Organization referred to itself as “we” and not WIPO, the Secretariat or the International Bureau. The pages on the CDIP and the DA were now much longer. The Secretariat hoped they would be easier to navigate and that they contained the information required by delegations. Upon finalization, the manual on technical assistance could be included in the section on development. A responsive design was developed for the website. This meant that the site automatically adapted to the device that was used to access it. Those were some of the results achieved in Phase I. Phase II was now underway. Lower level landing pages were being revised and edited. Applications beyond the content management system were being examined. The Secretariat was also looking to improve the databases. For example, although the database on meetings and documents had been improved, more could be done and this would be addressed in the coming months. As mentioned earlier, work on content was continuing in terms of cleanup, revision and creation of new content in line with the users’ demand. The Secretariat would welcome any feedback from the delegations.
185 The Delegation of El Salvador wanted to know when the website would include information on GRULAC.
186 The Representative of the TWN hoped that full information on all WIPO events, in particular, the agenda, list of speakers and concept papers would be made available on the new WIPO website in line with recommendations F(1)(a) and (b) in document CDIP/9/16. The said events included training events, seminars, workshops and conferences organized at the global, regional and country level.
187 The Secretariat (Mr. Tarpey) referred to the question on GRULAC. Information was being gathered and would be uploaded onto the site once it was put together. In terms of meetings, as mentioned, the website contained a very detailed meetings area which was driven by databases on meetings and documents. The website would provide all the information on the meetings. Efforts were being made to ensure that international meetings were included and that information and documents were entered into the databases.
188 The Chair closed the discussion on WIPO’s website given that there were no further observations form the floor. He moved on to the technical assistance database (also known as IP-TAD). The Committee had requested the Secretariat to examine the database with a view to facilitate searching capabilities, and ensuring the regular updating of the database with information on technical assistance activities, in line with recommendation G(1) in document CDIP/9/16. He invited the Secretariat to report on IP-TAD.
189 The Secretariat (Mr. Wibowo) stated that the Special Projects Division had been assigned to look after IP-TAD. With respect to recommendations G(1)and (2) in document CDIP/9/16, over 95% of the requirements had been implemented in IP-TAD. The only remaining aspect was the integration of the program structure into IP-TAD. In this regard, internal consultations were taking place with the Program Performance and Budget Division. Discussions on cost and implementation had also taken place with external contractors and they would be submitting a proposal. Implementation would take place in the near future.
190 The Chair closed the discussion on this item given that there were no comments from the floor. He invited the Committee to discuss the documents that were listed under the agenda item on the External Review of WIPO Technical Assistance in the Area of Cooperation for Development