WIPO's secret, corporate-run trademark enforcement meeting

The World Intellectual Property Organization is hosting an off-the-books meeting in the Philippines on trademark enforcement, with speakers from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, the Swiss Watch Federation. The meeting wasn't announced on WIPO's website, and it exclusively features speakers who support greater enforcement, with no one speaking for moderation and balance.

WIPO's own "Development Agenda" requires the organization to "approach intellectual property enforcement in the context of broader societal interests and especially development-oriented concerns, with a view that 'the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.'"

It's hard to see how holding secret meetings run by major corporations who support more invasive searches, restrictions on the resale of goods, and more private enforcement rights uphold that principle.


  1. One wonders if the number of secret meetings of this nature where they leave out “the people” has a direct relation to the number of people who just ignore the “rules”.
    Maybe copyright/trademark laws would be followed more if those asked to give things up for the sake of them had any say in the matter.

    1. Depends on if it’s ‘ok you get to see what we’re doing but you don’t /really/ have a say or ‘you have a chance at actually affecting the outcome of our decision making process in a way that you would like.’

  2. The Philippines? Seriously?
    This thing screams “Mansion on a secluded Aspen mountain-face”.
    I mean how inconvenient of a location considering that garment selection has to be chosen out of season, right? I guess Yves Carcelle will have to dip into last years Spring collection for evening wear.

  3. To be fair, this isn’t really a WIPO meeting, it is organised by the national IP office in conjunction with other organisations, including WIPO. I have participated in several of these, and they’re usually not included in the WIPO website.

        1. Dear Andres,

          The programme of the meeting clearly indicates that the meeting is organised in cooperation with WIPO, and WIPO’s participation is under the “Building Respect for IP” programme.

          WIPO has just posted information on this meeting – though only partially – and it is clearly labelled a WIPO meeting.

  4. Has any slime-oozing spokesdrone stepped up to say that all “stakeholders” were suitably represented?

    For whatever reason, whenever those invited are described as being “stakeholders” it’s a fair bet that you aren’t going to like the guest list and certainly aren’t on it…

  5. Dear Nick,

    What I mean is that this is not an obscure and ominous secret meeting, it is one of the many pro-IP meetings organized by national IP officials in conjunction with WIPO and other institutions. As I mentioned, I am very familiar with the format having participated in several similar events. In my experience, WIPO’s involvement is very low key.

    I just don’t think there is anything remarkable about this particular meeting worthy of outrage.

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