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<author id="gerloff"/>
<original content="2010-11-24"/>
<title>Statement on the project on "IP and competition policy" at WIPO CDIP/6</title>
<p id="category">
<a href="/activities/policy.html">WIPO</a>
<h1>Statement on the project on "IP and competition policy" at WIPO CDIP/6</h1>
<h4>Committee on Development and Intellectual Property: <a href="">Sixth Session</a>, Geneva, November 22, 2010 to November 26, 2010. </h4>
<p id="introduction">Summary: Competition policy is
crucial in maintaining open and competitive markets. Any project in this field should take into account the perspectives of users and consumers.</p>
<h2>Intervention by Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)</h2>
<p>Thank you, Mr Chairman.</p>
<p>As this is the first time we take the
floor, we would like to congratulate you on your able guidance of
this very important meeting.</p>
<p>Free Software Foundation Europe would like to briefly remark on
the project on "IP and competition policy". We appreciate the
efforts that WIPO is making to explore this very important topic,
and are glad to see the project progress. Competition policy is
crucial in maintaining open and competitive markets, and provides
an important element of balance to the exclusivity created by
copyright and patents. We believe that this is a valuable project
to investigate the complex relationship between copyright,
patents, and competition policies.</p>
<p>As regards past work under this project, we have taken note in
particular of the seminar organised by WIPO in the framework of
this project on October 25 here in Geneva, with the title
"Enforcing Antitrust Law with Reference to Intellectual Property
Assets: New Developments and Perspectives".</p>
<p>The seminar's agenda comprised the session on institutional
perspectives, and one on business perspectives. As we reviewed the
agenda, we were surprised to see that the event did not include
the perspectives of the third set of stakeholders in competition
policy: users and consumers.</p>
<p>The industry perspective was provided by Microsoft, Boehringer
Ingelheim, Philips and Qualcomm. Speaking as we do from the
background of software, we would note that Microsoft in particular
has been convicted of anticompetitive practices in high-profile
cases in the United States and Europe. While this would certainly
endow the company with some experience on the subject, it seems
inappropriate to place them as the sole source of input on the
intricacies of competition policy in the software market. This
would clash directly with Recommendation 23 of the Development
Agenda, which calls for the promotion of pro-competitive licensing
policies. We would have wished that a broader set of perspectives
had been taken into account in organising the seminar.</p>
<p>We would encourage member states to look to the Secretariat for
assurances that the project as a whole is indeed taking into
account the perspectives of users and consumers. We also hope that
user and consumer stakeholders will be invited to provide their
perspectives during the further course of the project. Free
Software Foundation Europe will be very happy to support WIPO by
providing expert input and assist WIPO and its member states in
exploring this very important topic.</p>
<p>Thank you, Mr Chairman.
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