WIPO Briefing

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 31, 2011

Question: Did the State Department brief business representatives on UNESCO’s decision to admit Palestine as a full member?

Answer: Today senior USG officials from State and the US Patent and Trademark Office briefed representatives from leading U.S. industries on today’s vote at UNESCO and the implications that vote might have for Palestinian accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

During the meeting, Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer underscored U.S. concern that Palestinian membership in WIPO could have serious implications for U.S. leadership in this organization, which supports the global IPR infrastructure and helps U.S. companies protect their intellectual property around the world. The United States is a leading global voice on issues related to patent, copyright, and trademark matters, and should the U.S. be unable to provide its contributions to WIPO, the impact of that voice could be significantly diminished.

In attendance were representatives from a wide range of U.S. businesses and industries, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Software Alliance, and United States Council for International Business. The State Department will also brief a number of civil society groups, including NGO’s with a particular interest in UNESCO.

PRN: 2011/1843