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Press Release PR/2000/227  

Geneva, June 15, 2000  


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Policy Advisory 
Commission agreed on Thursday on the need to send a strong message to 
the international community about the value of intellectual property 
as a tool for promoting wealth creation as well as economic, social 
and cultural development. The morning session of the meeting was 
chaired by HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. The former 
President of the Philippines, Mr. Fidel Ramos, chaired the afternoon 

The basis of discussions at the one day meeting was a draft "World 
Intellectual Property Declaration," initiated by Japanís Vice 
Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, 
Mr. Hisamitsu Arai, and further elaborated by a task force of the 
PAC. The draft Declaration recognizes the universal relevance of 
intellectual property in todayís knowledge-based societies. It 
reasserts the historical, cultural, social and economic value of 
intellectual property since the earliest days of history. The draft 
Declaration further highlights the importance of intellectual 
property rights which provide incentives to creators, urges that 
users have equal access to the benefits of creativity, and underlines 
their contribution to the creation of wealth for all. The draft 
Declaration recommends a series of activities to promote public 
awareness, dissemination of value-added intellectual property 
information and better international registration services. Also, 
there should be activities to promote effective use of intellectual 
property and the protection of cultural diversity.  

Members of the PAC commented on the draft text and agreed to pursue 
consultations over the next few weeks with a view to adopting the 
Declaration. It was agreed that after adoption by the PAC, the 
Declaration would be presented to the Assemblies of WIPO at their 
annual meetings in September.  

WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, thanked the members of the 
Commission for their contribution to the PAC and observed that in the 
not so distant past, intellectual property issues were not on the 
agenda of policy makers. "Not too long ago, intellectual property was 
not in the vocabulary of many policy makers let alone a part of their 
policy strategies. It is a policy strategy today," he underlined. Dr. 
Idris also stressed that intellectual property had also become a 
business strategy for business leaders today. He said a companyís 
greatest assets are intangibles. The value of these is captured 
through the intellectual property system.  

The President of Bulgaria, Mr.Petar Stoyanov, reaffirmed the 
importance of intellectual property as a tool for wealth creation and 
economic, social and cultural development. He underlined the 
importance of demystifying intellectual property rights which, he 
said, "for many people and countries ... represent a new concept". 
"We need to foster a culture of respect for intellectual property 
rights." he added. Commenting on the role of intellectual property as 
a tool for wealth creation, he stressed that the intellectual 
property system presented a unique opportunity to reward "creative 
and innovative individuals for translating ideas into tangible 
products and business thus turning them into income and employment, 
contributing to economic development and the generation of wealth". 
He said, "adequate protection of intellectual property rights is an 
incentive to invent and a disincentive to copy. It is up to 
governments and policy makers to create a business and economic 
environment favoring and promoting creativity and innovation," he 

PAC members also discussed a paper on the role of WIPO in a changing 
world presented by Mr. Henry Olsson, Special Government Advisor at 
the Swedish Ministry of Justice. The paper addresses the main 
controversial issues today in the field of intellectual property such 
as patent protection for plants, pharmaceuticals, and genes and 
indicates what the answers to them could be as well as how WIPO could 
tackle these issues. Members of the PAC suggested that WIPO should 
study and consider both the positive aspects of and the problems 
posed by the intellectual property system. Also, they proposed that 
the intellectual property aspects of biotechnology and traditional 
knowledge should be brought to the attention of key policy makers and 
remain high on WIPOís agenda.  

In addition, presentations were made by senior WIPO officials on the 
Organizationís work in the area of patent law harmonization, the WIPO 
World Wide Academy, WIPONET, and public outreach efforts.  

The second meeting of the PAC was attended by:  

Mr. Jorge AMIGO CASTA—EDA Jorge, Director General, Mexican Industrial 
Property Institute, Mexico  

Mr. Hisamitsu ARAI , Vice-Minister for International Affairs, 
Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Japan,  

Mr. Amara ESSY, former State Minister and Minister for Foreign 
Affairs, CŰte díIvoire,  

Mr. Mayer, GABAY Mayer, First Vice President, United Nations 
Administrative Tribunal, and Chairman, Patent and Copyright Laws 
Revision Committees, Ministry of Justice, Israel,  

Ms. Arundhati GHOSE , Member, Union Public Service Commission, India, 
and former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India, 
Permanent Mission of India in Geneva,  

Mr. Walter Gyger, Switzerlandís Ambassador to India,  

His Royal Highness, Prince El-HASSAN Bin Talal, Hashemite Kingdom of 

Mr. Abdelbaki HERMASSI, Minister for Culture, Tunisia,  

Mr. Wilhelm H÷YNCK, former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of 
Germany, Permanent Mission of Germany in Geneva,  

Mr. Lakshman KADIRGAMAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Democratic 
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,  

Mr. Bruce LEHMAN, President, International Intellectual Property 
Institute, and former Assistant Secretary for Commerce and 
Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, United States of America,  

Mr. Henry OLSSON, Special Government Advisor, Ministry of Justice, 
Sweden, and former Director of Copyright Department, WIPO  

Mr. Philippe PETIT, Permanent Representative of France to the United 
Nations in Geneva  

Mr. Marino PORZIO, Attorney, Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, Chile, and Chairman of the Assemblies of Member States of 

Mt. QIAO Zonghuai, Ambassador, Permanant Mission of the People's 
Republic of China in Geneva,  

Mr. Fidel RAMOS, former President, Philippines,  

Mr. Vasily SIDOROV, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the 
Russian Federation, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation in 

Mr. Petar STOYANOV, President of the Republic of Bulgaria,  

Mr. John WEEKES, Chairman, Global Trade Practice, APCO Worldwide, and 
former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada, Permanent 
Mission of Canada in Geneva,  

The PAC, made up of eminent personalities from the fields of 
politics, diplomacy, law and public administration is mandated to 
enhance WIPO's capacity to monitor and respond in a timely, informed 
and effective manner to international and regional developments in 
intellectual property, in information technology and in other fields 
bearing on WIPO's operations and its policy environment. The insights 
offered by members of the PAC help to ensure that the Organization 
remains relevant to the changing realities of the modern world and 
provide invaluable assistance in the Organization's quest to 
demystify intellectual property. The Commission is a purely advisory 
body designed to assist the Director General in identifying policies 
to deal with new and emerging trends in intellectual property.  

For further information, please contact the Media Relations and 
Public Affairs Section at WIPO: Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61; (+41 22) 338 
95 47; Fax: (+41 22) 338 88 10;  

E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int  

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