126. The representative of WIPO informed the Council about legislative and policy advice on patents, referring to or including considerations regarding the System that had been provided from June 2011 to June 2012. Among others, the WIPO Secretariat had drafted laws and had provided comments on draft laws at the request of 10 Member States. In the framework of legislative assistance on patents, matters related to health policies had also been addressed in the context of eight short term missions to capitals and four consultations in WIPO headquarters in Geneva. Legislative implementation of patent law matters related to health policies had been addressed in a number of events, including a Regional Seminar for Certain Latin American and Caribbean Countries on the Implementation and Use of several Patent-Related Flexibilities, held in Bogota, Colombia from 6 to 8 February 2012 and the Second Meeting of Intellectual Property Experts from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), held in Lusaka, Zambia from 23 to 25 November 2011. WIPO's assistance was consistently based on the multilateral legal framework. A number of authorities in charge of drafting laws had been seeking advice from WIPO regarding how to use the available multilateral flexibilities so as to accommodate particular national interests that were specific to their countries. The System, being a part of those flexibilities which are considered by several countries as part of their access-to-medicine policies, was regularly covered WIPO's legislative and policy assistance.
127. The representative of WIPO recalled that, at the annual review in 2011, his delegation had provided information on a new consortium called "WIPO Re:Search – Sharing Innovation in the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases". WIPO Re:Search had been launched on 26 October 2011, with about 30 members, including pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and a range of public and private entities as members. One year after its launch, WIPO Re:Search had doubled its membership to 62, including a growing number of members from African-based organizations. It had resulted in 11 research collaborations or agreements. A number of additional agreements were in advanced stages of discussion between members with more collaboration ideas and agreements in early development. WIPO Re:Search was a consortium of which members categorized as providers, users and supporters. It was led by WIPO in partnership with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, whose role was to facilitate research agreements between members. Each member had endorsed the guiding principles when joining the consortium. The commitment to the guiding principles had achieved a common understanding about how WIPO Re:Search operated and the way in which it achieved its goals. The WHO was supporting this initiative by providing technical advice to WIPO.
128. WIPO Re:Search was founded on the belief that IP and knowledge could be used creatively and positively to stimulate more investment in research and development for new health solutions. It was grounded on voluntary agreement and operated on the basis of voluntary licenses. While the guiding principles provided partners with all the flexibility needed to achieve appropriate licensing agreements, they set some minimum terms for licensing. In particular, providers had agreed to grant royalty-free licences to qualified researchers anywhere in the world for the purpose of R&D for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and tuberculosis (TB). Any researchers anywhere in the world would thus be able to carry out their research free from royalties, provided the research is focused on NTDs, malaria, and TB. There was no royalty requirement for carrying out research under a WIPO Re:Search licence. Any products resulting from this research would also be royalty-free for sales in least developed countries. Royalties for sales of products in other countries would have to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the partners.
129. The basic structure of WIPO Re:Search contained three components. First, there was the platform in the form of a database operated by WIPO (www.wiporesearch.org), where Providers made their assets available for research free from royalties. Second, the partnership hub administrator, BVGH, engaged with members to facilitate research collaborations. BVGH was available for members who had identified assets of interest in the database to provide more detailed information, to connect potential partners and to help making a deal. Third, support was provided under the responsibility of WIPO, which included training and a range of activities that aimed at capacity building, sometimes carried out in cooperation with others. For example, on 1 and 2 November 2012, a training on Successful Technology Licensing had been organized at the WIPO headquarters for a group of invited representatives of research organizations in cooperation with the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), the Medical Research Council (MRC), South Africa, and with the support of the Japan Patent Office (JPO).