WTO: 2010 NEWS ITEMS

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Participants were from: Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Estonia, European Union, Kenya, Lesotho, Malta, Montenegro, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda and Ukraine.

This advanced course, which is the second of its kind, embodies the highest level of learning as part of the progressive learning strategy of the WTO. The course sought to improve the participants' understanding of WIPO and WTO rules on intellectual property (IP), improve their understanding of important policy issues in the area of IP under discussion in WIPO and the WTO and to improve their capability to assess the implications of IP on their economies.

The course represents invaluable cooperation between the WTO and WIPO, enabling the delivery of a programme that allows each organization to complement the other's area of expertise as well as providing a platform for the involvement of other key players in the field of IP. The course is designed to ensure progressively higher levels of understanding in the area of IP in order to equip the participants with the necessary tools to help formulate policies that will facilitate the development process in their respective countries. In addition, it will enable participants to work together with other stakeholders in their constituencies to attain efficiency and higher use and management of IP.

The course consisted of a combination of presentations followed by discussion sessions, panel deliberations, as well as practical exercises on a wide range of issues. These issues included, among others: international policy and law in IP; the different agreements and conventions governing IP; IP and its relation to economic development, international trade, public health particularly with respect to access to medicines, climate change and competition policy.

Overviews were given on the current international landscape in copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and patents. The WTO dispute settlement and TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights), traditional knowledge and folklore, IP enforcement and technical assistance and capacity building in the area of IP were also covered. In addition, the participants benefited from sessions involving delegates dealing with different IP issues in Geneva as well as staff from various entities including among others, the World Health Organization (WHO), International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), General Electric, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Participants also had the opportunity to meet and pose questions to Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO.

Overall, the participants considered the course a success, particularly due to the high quality of presentations and the rich content of the subject areas covered. However, it was felt that extending the time allocated to the course would enable more in-depth coverage of a number of issues. Continued partnership between WIPO and WTO was strongly encouraged.

This advanced course forms part of the Geneva-based component of the WTO's training and capacity-building program, which also comprises three-month trade policy courses, three-week introduction courses for government officials from least-developed countries and advanced thematic courses on other topics, including dispute settlement, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary standards. For more information, see the WTO Biennial Technical Assistance Plan 2010-2011.

  

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