Statement by Ambassador Tichenor to Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO

Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO
44th Series of Meetings

Statement by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor
U.S Permanent Representative to the U.N. and International Organizations in Geneva

Geneva, March 31, 2008

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

First, on behalf of the United States, let me express our satisfaction with the agreement we have reached today, and reiterate my personal thanks and admiration for your stewardship in guiding this extraordinary session of the General Assembly to a consensus-based outcome.

I also extend my thanks to my fellow representatives to WIPO for the constructive spirit displayed during this meeting. I also thank the staff of the International Bureau, and especially the interpreters, for their role in the successful outcome of this meeting.

WIPO member states have taken two important decisions today: we reached an agreement to reduce PCT fees, and we have approved a Program & Budget for 2008/09.

Both decisions are “works in progress.” On PCT fees, we support the provisional PCT fee reduction proposal because it addresses the need of all WIPO member states – including both developing and developed countries.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is truly a success – funding 75 percent of WIPO’s growing budget. It is imperative that we maintain the confidence of industry in the PCT system, especially as filings continue to outstrip growth projections and the organization accumulates a sizable surplus.

We look forward to the results of the Secretariat’s study on options for the fee schedule. We urge member states to reach a decision on revising eligibility criteria as soon as possible, and we hope, no later than December 31, 2009.

Objective, non-political criteria for fee discounts will allow us to maintain and expand a sustainable PCT system.

Regarding the budget, as was noted in Group B statement, much work remains. First, the budget will need to be revised in light of the decision taken to reduce PCT fees. Second, revisions will be needed to implement the agreed proposals relating to a WIPO Development Agenda, and decisions relating to the report on the desk-to-desk assessment.

Let me assure you, Mr. Chairman, that the U.S. will be an active and constructive participant in this process. The United States is strongly committed to helping to build WIPO’s future as an exemplary leader of the UN system, committed to robustly upholding the highest ideals embodied in the UN Charter. WIPO has a vital and unique role to play in promoting innovation, in helping countries to improve their intellectual property systems, and in promoting intellectual property protection as a tool for economic development that we all seek for all the nations of the world.

Thank you, Sir.