09 | 10 | 2018
Participation of the Office in the 58th Series of Meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Source: www.flickr.com/wipo, ©WIPO 2018. Photo: Violaine Martin
From 24 September to 2 October 2018, Geneva hosted the 58th Series of Meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), with participation of the delegation of the Republic of Croatia composed of: Ms. Vesna Batistić Kos, Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN in Geneva, Ms. Ljiljana Kuterovac, Director General of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), Ms. Ana Rački Marinković, Deputy Director General of the SIPO, Ms. Alida Matković, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN in Geneva and Ms. Sandra Luetić, Head of Division for Economic Multilateral Relations at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.
At the Sessions, attended by over 1000 representatives from 191 Member States of WIPO, discussions involved the work of the organization in the last year and a number of decisions were made related to its further operation and activities. As in the last few years, the work of the assemblies of WIPO was hindered by lack of consensus on decisions concerning crucial issues considering great differences in attitudes by developing countries on one hand and developed countries on the other, as well as burdened by dispute between countries of the so-called New World, led by the USA, and countries of the so-called Old World protecting appellations of origin and geographical indications as sui generis of intellectual property rights and promoting their protection by way of the international registration system established through the Lisbon Agreement. Since WIPO presented its Program and Budget for the 2018-2019 biennium at the last year’s series of assemblies, there were no decisions made on this matter this year. Still, disputable issues from previous years, such as opening of WIPO external offices and convening of a diplomatic conference for preparation of an international treaty on formalities in the field of industrial design registration have not been resolved this year either, but it was decided to be discussed again at the following series in 2019. In addition, elaborations were provided on results of the work of the organization in standing committees and in specified technical fields and certain amendments to procedural provisions within international registration systems of patents, trademarks and industrial design, were adopted.
The delegation of the Republic of Croatia took an active participation in the work of the WIPO’s assemblies and supporting coordination meetings by the Member States – a regional group of the Central European and Baltic States (CEBS) and a group of the European Union and its Member States. Within the introduction of the Series of Meetings of WIPO, the delegation submitted the so-called general statement emphasising priorities of the Republic of Croatia in the field of intellectual property, and the most significant achievements in the development of the national intellectual property system in the last period. It is especially important to point out that it was the first time this year that the Republic of Croatia also organised a side-event during the Series of Meetings of WIPO. As an event related to the European Union’s ratification on 1 October 2018 of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (abbr. the Marrakesh Treaty) and the upcoming start of its implementation in the Republic of Croatia, there was the Multisensory Exhibition for the Blind and Visually Impaired inaugurated on 28 September 2018 presenting an innovative didactic aid by Nataša Jovičić, an art historian, and the Modern Gallery in Zagreb, intended to display art paintings in the format adapted to blind and visually impaired persons. The opening was attended by Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO, Ms. Vesna Batistić Kos, Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN in Geneva, Ms. Ljiljana Kuterovac, Director General of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia and Ms. Nataša Jovičić, the author of the innovation.
A special highlight among the most prominent outcomes of WIPO’s work since the last Series of Meetings goes to further increase in using global registration systems and accession of new countries to WIPO-administered international treaties. What stands out most is accession of more and more countries to the Marrakesh Treaty. During this year’s Series of Meetings of WIPO, the European Union became 43rd Member of this international treaty, which made the number of countries implementing this treaty reach 70.
Within its participation in the Series of Meetings of WIPO, the delegation of the Republic of Croatia took part in side-events involving presentations of projects and initiatives from various fields of intellectual property, and it held a number of meetings agreeing on further activities in terms of improving bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the development of intellectual property system in Croatia and the broader region.