Policy Brief 21, September 2015

Lack of Progress at the Twenty-Second Session of the WIPO SCP for a Balanced and Development-Oriented Work Programme on Patent Law Related Issues

The twenty-second session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) was held in Geneva from 27 to 31 July 2015. About seven years since the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had reconvened in June 2008 with a focus on developing a balanced work programme on issues relating to the law of patents that would also address development and public policy issues that arise in the context of the patent system, the SCP has been unable to agree on a work programme on any issue related to patents and development. Since the nineteenth session of the SCP there has been no conclusion of any of the items on the agenda. Indeed, discussions on future work in the SCP have focused on how to ensure that diverse issues and proposals that are on the agenda are sustained on the agenda without any substantive progress. Member States have agreed to limit the work in the SCP to fact finding. This has essentially limited the scope of discussions in the SCP to a review of existing challenges in relation to the patents system, but has restrained the SCP from venturing forward to seek solutions to these challenges. The stalemate continued at the twenty-second session of the SCP which was held in Geneva from 27 to 31 July 2015. This policy brief summarizes the discussions in the SCP and recommends that the WIPO Secretariat should provide appropriate guidance to the member States in accordance with the WIPO Development Agenda recommendations, particularly recommendation 22, in order focus discussions in the SCP over the merits of proposals that have raised issued that are pertinent within the mandate of the SCP.

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