Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

WIPO to present its "Digital Agenda" to Member States



The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will submit to its member states the "Digital Agenda" it drafted following a three- day meeting in Geneva from September 14 to 16, 1999 that brought together some 700 high-level representatives from government, industry and other interested parties. Among the high-level government representatives that addressed the International Conference on Electronic Commerce and Intellectual Property Issues were the Secretary of Commerce of the United States of America, Mr. William Daley, French Minister of Culture, Mrs. Catherine Trautmann, the Attorney General of Australia, Mr. Daryl Williams, and the Minister of Industry and International Business of Barbados, Mr. Reginald Farley.


The nine points of the WIPO Digital Agenda are:

1) Broaden the participation of developing countries through the use of WIPONET and other means for:

- access to intellectual property information;

- participation in global policy formulation;

- opportunities to use intellectual property in electronic commerce.

2) Entry into force of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) before December 2001.

3) Promote the adjustment of the international legislative framework to facilitate electronic commerce through:

- the extension of the principles in the WPPT to audiovisual performances;

- the adaptation of broadcasters’ rights to the digital era;

- the review of the need for the conclusion of an international instrument on the protection of databases.

4) Implement the recommendations of the Report of the Domain Name Process and pursue the achievement of compatibility between identifiers in the real and virtual worlds through the establishment of rules for mutual respect and the elimination of contradictions between the domain name system and intellectual property rights.

5) Establish appropriate principles at the international level for determining the circumstances of intellectual property liability of Online Service Providers (OSPs) which are compatible and workable within a framework of general liability rules for OSPs.

6) Promote adjustment of the institutional framework for facilitating the exploitation of intellectual property in a global economy and on a global medium through coordination and, where desired by users, the implementation of systems in respect of:

- the interoperability and interconnection of electronic copyright management systems and the metadata of such systems;

- the online licensing of the digital expression of cultural heritage;

- the online administration of intellectual property disputes.

7) Introduce online procedures for the filing and administration of international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Madrid System at the earliest possible date.

8) Study and, where appropriate, respond in a timely and effective manner to the need for measures designed to improve secure digital management of intellectual property assets at the international level including, for example, investigating the desirability and efficacy of:

- the establishment of agreed procedures and forms for global licensing of intellectual property assets in digital form;

- the notarization of electronic documents;

- the introduction of a procedure for the certification of websites containing intellectual property for compliance with appropriate intellectual property standards and procedures.

9) Coordinate with other international organizations in the formulation of appropriate international positions on horizontal issues affecting intellectual property, in particular:

- the validity of electronic contracts;

- jurisdiction.