Press Release: U.S. on Decisions of the World Intellectual Property Organization

United States Welcomes Outcomes of 2008 Extraordinary WIPO General Assemblies

Geneva, April 1, 2008

U.S. Ambassador Warren Tichenor welcomed decisions taken by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states to reduce Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filing fees, and approve a transitional Program & Budget for 2008/09 at meetings of the WIPO General Assemblies on March 31, 2008. The PCT Assembly approved an across-the-board five percent reduction in PCT fees as well as additional reductions for individual filers in developing countries. The reduction in patent fees – the first since 2002 – will save U.S. companies more than 6 million dollars during the remainder of the 2008/09 biennium.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is truly a success – funding 75 percent of WIPO’s growing budget. The US is committed to ensuring that all its major stakeholders retain their confidence in the PCT system, especially as patent registration filings continue to outstrip growth projections and the organization accumulates a sizable surplus.

Noting that a new Director General will take office on October 1, 2008, the United States was able to join consensus to approve a transitional budget after WIPO management decided to defer significant restructuring or reorganization decisions, and senior promotions, to the new Director General.

The US joined other industrialized countries in calling on WIPO to ensure that WIPO staff are treated with respect, dignity, and in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards, and enjoy the full protection and benefits they are due as employees of the UN system.

The successful conclusion of WIPO’s General Assemblies strengthens the organization’s ability to help countries use intellectual property protection as a tool to promote economic development. Intellectual property rights are the universal currency of today’s dynamic global innovation economy, a critical vehicle for technology transfer, and an indispensable foundation for the increased prosperity aspired to by all WIPO members.

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