Cablegate: Wipo and Eu Presidency Issues


DE RUEHGV #0040 0210951
R 210951Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: WIPO and EU Presidency Issues

1. SUMMARY: Miguel Angel Vecino, Counselor from the Spanish
Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, met on January 13 with IP Attach????
Lashley-Johnson to discuss EU presidency issues in the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Spain now holds the EU
presidency until July 2010, and Mr. Vecino focused his discussion
on a proposal to create a new EU coordinating role in WIPO.
Comments from USPTO and Main State are welcomed. END SUMMARY.

2. In the meeting, Mr. Vecino inquired whether the U.S would
support the creation of an additional regional coordinating role
within Group B (industrialized countries) for the EU presidency.
He noted that this proposal addresses important issues for Spain,
such as the need to increase their visibility in WIPO on behalf of
the EU presidency and to increase Group B (developed countries)
participation in regional group coordination meetings, which are
generally attended only by the Chair of each regional group. He
added that developing countries have at least four regional groups
and their anti-IP demands concerning substantive and procedural
issues in regional group consultations are growing and are
impacting WIPO through the increased hiring of staff from countries
that have directly challenged Group B positions. Mr. Vecino noted
that an extra voice from another Group B representative at these
consultations would improve Group B's negotiating position.

3. IP Attach???? Lashley-Johnson replied that while WIPO committee
chairs have excluded non-chairing Members States from consultations
where agreement in a committee has been elusive, there already
exists the opportunity for "interested" delegations to attended
these meetings. On several occasions, upon request, delegations
from the US and EU Member States have participated in regional
group consultations. Moreover, she noted concern with respect of
creating a new structure within Group B that may weaken
coordination efforts. In response, Mr. Vecino indicated that in
accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, which took effect on December 1,
2009, the European Commission (now called the European Council) is
the new permanent EU presidency. He added that while the
presidency will be bound by consensus-based decisions of the 27 EU
Member States, Brussels will be more influential and control policy
and legal decisions concerning WIPO matters. (Note: In contrast,
before Lisbon, each EU Member State in WIPO could take independent
action/decision making, which provided the U.S. and other non-EU
countries greater traction on WIPO issues. End note). IP Attach????
Lashley-Johnson voiced concern about creating a new, official
coordinating role for Brussels and indicated that she will seek
advice from Washington.

4. Mr. Vecino intends to raise the issue of a new coordinating
role for the EU presidency with the current chair of Group B, which
is Switzerland. A meeting will likely be scheduled with
delegations during the week of January 25 at WIPO when the Standing
Committee on Patents convenes.

5. COMMENT: Our concerns about Spain's proposal stem largely from
the fact that in areas where the EU does speak with one voice-at
the World Trade Organization (WTO), for example-the U.S. is
frequently on opposing sides, and moreover has lost traction in
dealing with EU allies on a bilateral basis. Creating a new
structure that would have the potential to pit the U.S. against the
EU in WIPO would be undesirable and could hamper U.S. WIPO
interests. Guidance from Washington on the creation of an
official EU regional coordinating group within Group B would be
appreciated, particularly before January 25, 2010. END COMMENT.

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