Someone is being paid to come up with all of this, and someone else is being paid to turn it into another World Intellectual Property Organization press release. Is it, though, a far-sighted move to keep intellectual property at the leading edge of global progress or a blistering vague and meaningless waste of money that could be spent on important things like improving the functionality and the content of national IP office websites, to make them more informative for ordinary users and less time-consuming for IP practitioners and their clients?
This press release (PR/2009/607) is grandly entitled "Ministerial Segment Endorses WIPO’s Engagement with Global Challenges". Dated 23 September 2009 it reads:
"Government ministers [these are they] participating in the first-ever High Level Segment of the Assemblies of the member states of WIPO on September 22 and 23, 2009 [The what?], endorsed WIPO’s progress toward its strategic goals [it could hardly do otherwise: the 9 'strategic goals' are basically 'doing its job'], which they said marked a new era for the Organization and its ability to ensure that the intellectual property (IP) system helps meet an increasing number of global challenges [whatever happened to the old era and when did it end?]. They emphasized that IP is now widely perceived as a key policy tool to promote public interest, innovation and technological progress [but not that it's also perceived as a block on the sale of medicines, the spread of audio and video culture and the sale of genuine branded goods?].
The more than 40 ministers attending the High Level Segment shared the view that IP is a driving force in creating a positive environment for social, economic and cultural development [40 ministers? The IPKat assumes that they all travelled economy class, as he does, and that none of them held this positive view of IP until they reached Geneva ...]. Ministers welcomed the Organization’s commitment to delivering effective services under the Development Agenda [Merpel has a challenge here: can one reader who is not a WIPO employee name any effective services which have been delivered under the Development Agenda] and WIPO’s capacity building programs in general.
The meeting provided an opportunity for ministers to exchange experiences [we feared as much], share concerns and to express their respective national IP priorities [!]. It was also recognized as an important means of raising the profile of IP issues within senior policy making spheres at both the national and international levels [It's a little-known fact that Geneva is kept warm throughout the snowy winter by a system based on recycled hot air. Guess where it comes from ...].
At the opening of the High Level Segment, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry called on member states to work together to ensure that the IP system serves as a stimulus for developing solutions to the global challenges confronting policy makers across the world [Quite right. That's exactly what the World Trade Organization is for]. Many countries underlined the need for continued support in promoting innovation, technology transfer and IP public awareness to boost technological development and commerce, and to support the search for solutions to emerging problems [... and to think they managed this only 126 short years after the came together to sign the Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property].
The need to find solutions to overcome the blockages in the Organization’s normative agenda was widely expressed [Did the expression of this need require 40 ministers to turn up?]. In this context, many ministers called for the renewal of the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) in a way that allows for concrete outcomes [But surely countries which are blocking the normative agenda will resist changes in these mandates if their effect is to free that agenda up. Or is the IPKat missing something very obvious].
Ministers commended Mr. Gurry’s leadership of the Organization and the progress made in the renewal and strategic realignment of operations [The IPKat thinks he's doing a great job, though wading knee-deep through all those routes to 'concrete outcomes' must take some doing]. They welcomed the Organization’s response to the challenges confronting the IP system [Such as? Merpel couldn't find anything on the WIPO website that looks like a response to the Pirate Party manifesto] and its engagement in global issues, including climate change, food security, public health and technology transfer".