For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

UN gives WIPO the all-clear over North Korean sanction breach claims

Earlier Katposts here and here have drawn the attention of readers to the questions that have been raised regarding possible breaches of United Nations sanctions by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the provision of technical assistance to North Korea. Well, here's some good news for our friends in Geneva, which you can find in the following media release:
Decision of UN Sanctions Committee on WIPO’s Technical Assistance to DPRK

Geneva, September 24, 2012

PR/2012/720

The United Nations (UN) committee charged with overseeing implementation of Security Council resolutions relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has confirmed that WIPO technical assistance to DPRK does not violate United Nations resolutions. In a letter to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, the Chairman of the Committee José Filipe Moraes Cabral, said
“I wish to convey the Committee’s understanding that nothing in the Security Council Resolutions 1695 (2006), 1718 (2006), and 1874 (2009) prohibits the technical assistance program that WIPO has carried out in the DPRK, including the transfer of those items cited in your letters or its attachments related to the transfer of equipment and software aimed at assisting the DPRK in developing technical capacity for intellectual property rights protection. Likewise, the Committee does not consider the second phase of technical advice and assistance with the configuration of the equipment and database software that will be provided to the DPRK to be prohibited.”
The letter also advises early consultation with the Committee. WIPO has already put in place measures to ensure that all managers must refer to WIPO’s Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) for guidance and clearance any activity proposed in a country subject to UN sanctions. OLC will, wherever necessary, consult the appropriate UN sanctions committee.
Says the IPKat, this must be a huge relief.  Merpel says, that's North Korea accounted for, but the original allegations and subsequent investigations include Iran too.

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