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 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.
"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".”