For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

WIPO budget approved at last for 2008/9

According to WIPO press release 2008PR/2008/545 , released yesterday, the WIPO Member States have adopted the 2008/09 Program and Budget, as well as a 5% decrease in fees paid for international patent applications. Says the press release:

"The proposed level of expenditure for the 2008/09 biennium is 626.3 million Swiss Francs (SFr). The full proposed program and budget for the 2008/09 biennium is available here. The program and budget 2008/09 was adopted with no prejudice to any adjustments that may be required during the biennium.

The Chairman of the General Assembly, Ambassador Martin I. Uhomoibhi, who is also the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in Geneva, said the agreement is the result “of active consultations and negotiations aimed at resolving all pending issues” since the last WIPO Assemblies session in September-October 2007. Ambassador Uhomoibhi said “The outcome achieved was the collective agreement that this Extraordinary Session be convoked principally to adopt the budget. The fact that we are meeting here today, 31 March 2008, is a result of the agreement reached during these negotiations.” Ambassador Uhomoibhi said this session of the General Assembly will go down in history as one of the briefest, characterized by candor and clarity of all concerned. “I am personally touched by this cooperative spirit,” he added.

The agreement included a decision to reduce the international filing fee under the PCT by 5% (this means that the international filing fee will fall from 1,400 SFr to 1,330 SFr) and to increase the reduction from 75% to 90% for countries whose per capita national income is below US$3,000, as well as to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Arab Emirates. This fee reduction will be effective from 1 July 2008.

Speaking after the meeting, the Director General of WIPO, Dr Kamil Idris, welcomed today’s decision on the program and budget for the 2008/09 biennium. He said “The adoption of the budget today is a sign of goodwill by all member states… It reflects mutual understanding that the Organization should move on".”

The IPKat is delighted that progress has now been made though he suspects that the reduction in international filing fees, particularly for the poorest countries, is going to make a huge difference to annual filing statistics; for the poorest countries the cost of satisfying the criterion of global novelty is almost always going to be higher than the cost of filing. Merpel says, it was always understood that the Organization should move on -- but that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be some changes in its governance. Tufty chimes in: Singapore??? Is there a story here? We thought Singapore was doing pretty well for itself.

2 comments:

Gobhicks said...

I wonder what Ambassador Uhomoibhi would say about this advice, received from a well known law firm operating in a number of African states:

"We advise that although Nigeria has acceded to the PCT Treaty, the Nigerian National Assembly has not ratified it by passing it as a domestic law as required under the Nigerian Constitution. Until this is done, the extant law (i.e. The Patents and Design Act of 1970 with the Regulations thereunder), is still the applicable law on Patents and Design in Nigeria.

With this state of affairs, all Patent applications (PCT applications inclusive) filed are being processed by the Registry under the Patent and Design act 1970 as local applications. Although in all our applications, we claim convention priority of the PCT applications but the Registry regards the local filing date as the priority date and annuities are payable on this date throughout the life of the Patent."

Anonymous said...

An explanation of the PCT fee structures and benefits for Singapore applicants can be found at http://www.cantab-ip.com/cantab/News/Entries/2008/4/1_Reduction_of_PCT_filing_fees_for_Singapore.html

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':