Dr Gurry re-appointed

Last week, 8 May, WIPO’s General Assembly re-elected Dr Francis Gurry to a second 6 year term, beginning 1 October 2014 as Director-General of WIPO.

Congratulations, Dr Gurry!

In his acceptance speech, Dr Gurry highlighted the challenge facing WIPO:

I believe that the fundamental challenge that we face as an Organization is to achieve a shared understanding of the contribution and value of intellectual property to economic, social and cultural development. This is by no means an easy task. Many obstacles lie in the path – different competitive interests in an economy in which knowledge- and technology-intensive industries account for an increasing 30% share of global economic output; asymmetries of wealth, opportunity and knowledge; historical and contemporary trust deficits; and the reality of a multi-speed and multi-tiered world in which multilateralism, while being the highest expression of inclusiveness and legitimacy, is nevertheless the slowest solution.

It would appear this means continued development of the international agenda on specific issues.

Press Release

Acceptance Speech

Telstra v PDC update

The transcript of Telstra’s unsuccessful application for special leave has now been posted here.

The Sydney Morning Herald speculates that Telstra is seeking talks with the Attorney General “to close the loophole”.

One consequence of the High Court’s revolution in copyright law is that the privacy regime which prevents the use of the Integrated Public Number Database (and IPND Industry Code) to create reverse-number directories has been undermined.

As its name suggests, a reverse-number directory is one where you have the telephone number and you can use it to identify who the subscriber is. Now, you may question whether that is an invasion of privacy (and many people happily (or maybe unknowingly) permit their telephone number to be transmitted to the person they are calling, but Parliament, the ALRC and the Privacy Commissioner (pdf see p. 402) have taken the view that it is, or should be.

Now, it could well be argued that copyright (I mean) a sui-generis database protection right would be a blunt instrument for protection of privacy and that privacy concerns would be better addressed, if necessary, by amending privacy laws. The economic case for database protection, therefore, would be key.

The Full Federal Court’s decision from which leave was not granted.

Lid dip: Copyright Council.

Philip Noonan live interview

From Peter Ollie at Managing IP:

Managing IP magazine’s Asia editor Peter Ollier will be conducting a live online interview with IP Australia director general Philip Noonan on Friday March 6 at 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

The one-hour interview will cover topics such as the recommendations in Terry Cutler’s venturousaustralia report, innovative step and inventive step in Australia’s patent law, the controversial Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the impact of the credit crunch on patent and trade mark applications in Australia.

Registration for this event is free. To register please go to www.managingip.com/webseminars. Registered participants will also be able to submit questions.  

Australian on top

On 22 September, Dr Francis Gurry’s election as the next Director General of WIPO was unanimously confirmed by the General Assembly.  His term starts on 1 October.  His appointment runs until 2014.

WIPO Press Release here.  Dr Gurry’s acceptance speech and his plans here.

Congratulations, Dr Gurry!

Brazil apparently took the opportunity to point out that one of the challenges lying ahead is centralising control over enforcement issues.  For this and a summary of events see William New at Intellectual Property Watch.