U.N. intellectual property chief to step down early
“I personally urge all concerned in the best interest of the Organization to proceed soon with the formal approval of the 2008-2009 program budget”
By Laura MacInnis
GENEVA (Reuters) - The head of the United Nations' intellectual property watchdog will step down next year, a year early, after documents bearing a false birth date brought pressure on him to resign, diplomats said on Thursday.
Kamil Idris, head of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for a decade, was found by internal auditors to have signed documents with a false birth date -- making him seem nine years older -- when he joined the agency 25 years ago. Read more
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#1 Nov 27, 2007
The letter was directed to the Deputy Commissioner for the Trademark Examination Policy of the USPTO, an employee of the US Government.
1. I always believed that you cannot serve two masters at the same time.
2. I sent Francis Gurry Assistant Director General and Legal Counsel of WIPO an e-mail of July 17 2002. The e-mail said:I am preparing an article on the Madrid Protocol. Please let me know where I can obtain a copy of WIPOs regulations regarding its ethical conduct in regard to payments or gifts to officials of national patent and trademark offices.
3. Mr. Gurry answered me on July 21, 2002 (Sunday)WIPO does not make gifts or payments to officials of national patent and trademark offices.
4. Dr. Idris Letter contradicts Francis Gurrys statement that WIPO does not give gifts to officials of national PTOs as the trip was a gift of $ 4, 881, 10. Clearly under the guidelines of WIPOs Legal Counsel, Dr. Idris letter was grossly improper.
5. The gift also seems inappropriate as the 2001 USPTO Budget was over One Billion Dollars. The PTO could afford to pay for necessary travel by its PTO official.
6. The gift was effective in that the official was a vocal proponent of US adherence to the Madrid Protocol. INTAs April 3, 2003 statement to the US Congress thanked her and others for their support of the Madrid Protocol. Despite receiving multiple favors from WIPO the official did not recuse herself from supporting WIPOs projects.
7. It is worth pointing out that WIPOs gifts to the official began in July of 1991 with the gift of a trip to Switzerland worth $1,028.25 and that, WIPOs gifts to her ceased after the US joined the Protocol.
8. Dr. Idris gift of $ 4,881.10 to the official in 2001 was a follow up to her election on November 5, 1998 to WIPOs Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks International Designs and Geographical Indications. My FOI request for information on her compensation was denied. Perhaps Mr. Di Palma or members of Cincinnatus can comment on the amount of compensation for this position.
9. The fact that the Madrid Protocol will help WIPOs finances and the national purposes of some countries does not justify these actions of Dr. Idris, especially where the adherence to the Protocol would harm the country in question, as may be the case with Brazil.
10. Currently WIPOs is pressuring Brazil to join the Madrid Protocol. WIPO has recently hired the niece of the Brazilian Foreign Minister to join its staff in Geneva.
11. Clearly there is the need for WIPO to enact a code of Conduct and for Dr. Idris to be replaced as Dr. Idris cannot say his signature on the October 2, 2001 was a typographical error.
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