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Re: [wg-b] WIPO Committee of Experts
The WIPO Committee of Experts on Well-known Marks was created in 1995,
independent of WIPO's role in the White Paper Report. It's most recent
communication was in September (afaik). Go to www.wipo.int and type in
"Committee of Experts on Well-known Marks" and the September document
should be the first hit. The resolution contains criteria for determining
fame. The document is a proposed Joint Resolution which would constitute a
non-binding recommendation to member states.
Incidentally, one should distinguish WIPO and the experts whom it engages
for various projects.
As to whether WIPO is neutral or not, we should not disqualify someone for
knowing what they are talking about. Expertise does not equal bias.
I would argue that the fact that WIPO is a UN treaty organization carries a
presumption of honesty and fairness. I don't think that experience with
intellectual property law rebuts that presumption. However, if it is
decided by the group that some other entity is better qualified at applying
this criteria once someone has established that WIPO can't apply the
criteria competently or fairly, then make an argument for another body that
can apply the criteria more competently and fairly.
At 01:17 PM 12/16/99 EST, you wrote:
>> At 9:26 AM -0500 12/16/99, Cade,Marilyn S - LGA wrote:
>> >Can we agree to work on a definition, using WIPO's Standing Committee's
>> >and perhaps other well accepted legal texts? Marilyn
>> Mikki Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org responded:
>> I don't agree with using WIPO's work when its own "Board of Experts"
>> disagreed with it.
>I think Mikki's message points out a fundamental problem with using WIPO's
>Standing Committee -- that the noncommercial, small business and individual
>communities (80-90 percent of the DNS) does not have contact with the WIPO
>Standing Committee. Because we haven't followed this committee or provided
>input into it, some basic questions come to mind: Is the WIPO Standing
>Committee the same official entity as the WIPO Staff that wrote the WIPO
>Final Report or something else? Do the recommendations of the WIPO Standing
>Committee have the force of treaty -- or are they ideas being floated to
>member countries for eventual inclusion in treaties?
>I respect WIPO, but in the DNS debate, WIPO is not a neutral forum. That's
>not a criticism, it is a fact of WIPO's mandate. Quoting from its own
>website (wipo.int), "WIPO is an international organization dedicated to
>helping to ensure that the rights of creators and owners of intellectual
>property are protected worldwide ...." WIPO administers 21 treaties, all
>involving intellectual property (again from website)"(15 on industrial
>property and 6 on copyright)." WIPO does not administer the treaties which
>provide the protections that balance intellectual property with free speech
>and open communication (including the human rights treaties which imbed
>protections for noncommercial use).
>So WIPO does not speak with the voice or for the interests of the
>noncommercial and individual communities. Nor is WIPO noncontroversial
>is own member countries. When I attended the Second Consultative Meeting of
>Domain Names and Trademarks in Sept 1997, in Geneva at WIPO, I heard
>government delegates from developing countries express deep concern and even
>fight with WIPO staff over proposals for protection for existing marks in
>domain names which they viewed as protecting existing large businesses
>(mostly in NAmr and Western Eur. countries) at the expense of emerging
>businesses in developing countries.
>So to Marilyn Cade and others, I would respond: please share with us your
>understanding of the WIPO Standing Committee, its members and background,
>its definitions and results. Please give us a sense of the legal
>international standing of these materials. And if they are recommendations
>and guidelines to WIPO member countries, then let's use them as such here.
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