"The member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization on Tuesday reached an agreement on how to address concerns raised about Director General Kamil Idris during this week’s annual General Assembly.The IPKat, being famed for his infinite diplomacy and sensitivity to human feelings, declines to comment on this delicate issue, but Merpel says this is a long-winded way of dealing with the situation: why not just have Dr Idris carbon-dated?
According to participants, a broad agreement was struck to set up a “Friends of the Chair” group on the issue. The chair of the assembly, elected at the outset, is Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, the ambassador of Nigeria to the United Nations, who is expected to invite various ambassadors to form the group, which should report back during the assembly. Uhomoibhi did not specify to the assembly how he would make his selections, nor how the process would work.
There appears to be some confusion among member states on the details of the group. Participants said they expect the group will read and discuss reports and information from recent years that found possible wrongdoing on the part of Idris, the most poignant being a confidential internal auditor’s report on Idris’ age correction .... In 2006, Idris moved to change his birth date from 1945 to 1954 in the WIPO records after 24 years. The chair’s friends group would report back to the assembly with recommendations, and member states would have the right to respond, sources said.
The United States appears to be satisfied with the agreement as it would result in a review and discussion of reports of alleged misconduct by Idris that they insist should be addressed. ..."
Time travel here, here and here
How to become younger here
Another major statesman who became younger here
Meanwhile, Dr Idris has not been neglecting his duties. WIPO press release PR/2007/517 heralds news of the accession by the European Community to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. This means that cheap, easy international design registration is now within the grasp of everyone in the European Union - at least in theory. Says the press release:
"The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization ..., Dr. Kamil Idris, welcomed the accession by the European Community ... to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, which offers businesses in all participating countries a simple, affordable and efficient way of obtaining and maintaining their industrial designs.The IPKat will be pleased to see the Brussels-Hague axis bearing fruit. Merpel says, what do you mean, fruit? We're talking about design registration, not plant varieties.
"The accession of the European Community marks a milestone in the development of the Hague system for the international registration of industrial designs. This is a major step towards broadening the geographical scope of the international design registration system", said Dr. Idris [the IPKat wishes he had a Swiss franc for every time the words "milestone" and "major step" are deployed in press statements]. He added “The accession of the EC creates an interface between WIPO’s international industrial design operations and those of the EC’s industrial design system allowing users to obtain protection in the whole of the EC as well as the other members of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement by filing one single application for the registration of their industrial designs.”
Such an international registration will have effect in as many members of the Geneva Act as identified in the application for registration, except those that refuse protection within the required time-limit. If protection is not refused by the EC’s industrial design office, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM), protection of the industrial designs in question will be effective in all 27 EC member states just as if the applicant had applied or registered directly with OHIM.
The EC’s instrument of accession was deposited with the Director General of WIPO on September 24, 2007 and its accession will become effective as from January 1, 2008.
... The EC is the 47th member of the Hague system.
The Geneva Act ... enhances the Hague system by making it more compatible with the procedures for the registration of industrial designs in countries such as the United States and Japan where protection of industrial designs is contingent on examination to determine the acceptability of an application.
Mr. Ernesto Rubio, Assistant Director General of WIPO responsible for questions relating to industrial designs, also underlined the importance of EC accession and referred to a new e-filing system which is due to be launched in January 2008. He said, “WIPO has developed, in co-operation with OHIM, an e-filing system that is expected to greatly facilitate the filing of industrial applications and will be introduced under the Hague system from January 1, 2008, the date on which also EC membership takes effect.””