WIPO Member States End Assemblies with Key Agreements on Future Work

WIPO Member States End Assemblies with Key Agreements on Future Work

Geneva, October 11, 2017


WIPO member states concluded their annual Assemblies meetings with key agreements that affirm the work of the Organization in advancing an effective and balanced intellectual property system.

In closing remarks to the October 2-11 Assemblies meetings, Director General Francis Gurrywelcomed the spirt of engagement by member states, saying: “I think that the results have been very positive. You, the member states, have given us, the Secretariat, the basis for going forward with the work of the organization. And I thank you for that confidence.”

“It’s true that the discussions are becoming more and more intense in the field of intellectual property, but there is a very positive side to that, which is the growing interest in the field of intellectual property and innovation and creativity,” he said.

The membership agreed on a program and budget for the 2018-2019 biennium that foresees a 10.9% increase in revenue from growing demand for WIPO’s global IP-filing and other services, without an increase in user fees. Spending growth will be contained at 2.7% and no new staff posts are planned.

As part of the program and budget for the 2018/19 biennium, member states approved special funding for capital investments to ensure that WIPO is able to carry out its mandate, with a particular emphasis on strengthening information and communication technology.

Member states also agreed to consider opening up to four external offices for 2018/2019, including in Colombia, expanding the organization’s network of overseas offices.

In addition, member states agreed on a renewed two-year mandate for negotiations on intellectual property and traditional knowledge, folklore and genetic resources, as well as the work plan for the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore for the biennium.

Closing the session, the Chair of the General Assembly, Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš, who is also the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, thanked delegates.

In opening the Assemblies on October 2, Mr. Gurry issued a written report on WIPO’s achievementsin the previous year and, in an opening address to delegates, sketched out some possible future paths for the organization.

During the Assemblies, Indonesia joined the international trademark system as its 100th member, while Nigeria joined four copyright-related treaties, among other activities.

WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry, represented by the IFPMA, launched a new partnership to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.

Delegates enjoyed a series of symposia, exhibits and performances sponsored by member states during the WIPO Assemblies, including the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, Mexico and Paraguay.

Wrap-up of main decisions

Member states, in their respective Assemblies and other bodies (following agenda order):

·         Took note of reports by the Independent Advisory Oversight Committee, the External Auditor and Director of the Internal Oversight Division.

·         Appointed as WIPO External Auditor Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General of the United Kingdom, for a period of six years to begin on January 1, 2018.

·         Approved the Program and Budget for 2018/19, with projected expenditure of 726 million Swiss francs, representing an increase of 2.7 per cent over the previous two-year period. Revenue for the same period is expected to increase by about 10.9 per cent, to 830 million Swiss francs, with a projected surplus of approximately 65 million Swiss francs after estimated adjustments required under International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), to be largely used to build financial reserves to a more secure level.

·         Approved the Capital Master Plan for the Organization for the period 2018 to 2027. Funding amounting to a total of 25.5 million Swiss francs was approved for the 2018/19 biennium. The approval of the projects under the Capital Master Plan will ensure the timely planning of required capital investments to ensure that WIPO remains fit for purpose and is able to carry out its mandate, ensures a reduction in the need for reactive and emergency repairs, and the elimination or mitigation of environmental, security, health and/or safety risks.

·         Decided that the 2018 General Assembly will consider opening up to four External Offices for 2018/2019, including in Colombia.

·         Took note of the report of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) and directed it to continue its work, including on broadcasting, limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives, limitations and exceptions for educational and research institutions and persons with disabilities other than visual impairment, the artist’s resale right, and analysis of copyright related to the digital environment.

·         Took note of the report of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP).

·         Took note of the reporton the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) .

·         Decided that the 2018 General Assembly will continue to consider the convening of a diplomatic conference for the adoption of a design law treaty to develop simplified standards for industrial design registration procedures to take place at the end of the first half of 2019;

·         Took note of the report on the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) and review of the implementation of the Development Agenda Recommendations, while voicing appreciation of the resolution of two long standing issues - the implementation of the CDIP mandateand the implementation of the Coordination Mechanisms and Monitoring, Assessing and Reporting Modalities.

·         Agreed on the renewal of the mandate of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (the IGC) for the 2018-2019 biennium, as well as the work plan for the IGC for the biennium. According to the mandate agreed upon, the IGC will continue to expedite its work with the objective of reaching an agreement on an international legal instrument(s), without prejudging the nature of outcome(s), relating to intellectual property which will ensure the balanced and effective protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

·         Took note of the report of the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS), including the adoption of two new standards: for the greater clarity in the exchange of patent legal status data in a standardized manner; and concerning the authority file of published patent documents to ensure the completeness of the patent collection of a given country.

·         Took note of the report by the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), which enabled member states to exchange and build upon each other’s practices on institutional arrangements on IP enforcement policies and regimes, awareness raising, as well as the legislative assistance and capacity building provided by WIPO in the area of IP enforcement and building respect for IP.

·         Appointed the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

·         Extended the appointment of the present International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) until the end of 2027.

·         Adopted amendments to the Schedule of Fees in the PCT Regulations to clarify that the fee reductions available to applicants from certain countries are intended to apply only in the case where the applicants indicated in the request are the sole and true owners of the application and under no obligation to assign, grant, convey or license the rights in the invention to another party which is not eligible for the fee reduction.

·         Took note of the report on the Madrid System Goods and Services Database.

·         Adopted the Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (their entry into force, including the relevant Schedule of Fees, will coincide with the entry into force of the Geneva Act), and extended the mandate of the Working Group to further discuss development of the Lisbon System, including possible solutions for its financial sustainability.

·         Noted developments in the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center’s provision of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, including new partnerships with intellectual property authorities in a number of member states for the promotion of ADR options, as well as the publication of a significant update of the Center’s jurisprudential overview of WIPO domain name decisions.

·         Took note of the “Cooperation under the Agreed Statements by the Diplomatic Conference Regarding the Patent Law Treaty.”

·         Took note of the status of the Marrakesh Treaty over the past year and encouraged the Secretariat to continue providing substantial support for member states to join and implement the Marrakesh Treaty.

·         Decided to exceptionally approve the implementation of the age limit for retirement at 65 for staff recruited before January 1, 2014, to take effect from January 1, 2020. This would maintain WIPO’s competitiveness and ensure its compliance with treaty obligations.


·         Took note of the report by the Ethics Office.

The 125th anniversary of the German utility model – A reason to celebrate?


On 1 October 1891, the first German Act on Utility Models (“Gebrauchsmuster”) came into force – creating a new industrial property right for technical inventions, in addition to the patent.

125 years later, there are about 85,000 registered German utility models in force (the maximum term of protection is ten years). Can we be congratulated? Have the legislator’s expectations been met?

In 1985, in a proposal for a new version of the Act, which was later enacted, the German government gave the following reasons for the utility model: ‘The utility model is mainly [designed] to quickly and inexpensively make available a manageable industrial property right for sole inventors and small and medium-sized enterprises for their everyday life inventions.’ The term ‘everyday life inventions’ was apparently used to describe inventions that involve only a small inventive step.

The German utility model can indeed be obtained quickly. It is registered without examination within a few months after application and gives rise to injunctive relief. It can also be created by ‘branching off’ from a patent application or from a patent under opposition. In this respect, the utility model meets the expectations of the German legislator. But what about the other goals?

In the year 2006, the German Federal Court of Justice held that regarding the requirement of inventive step in utility model law the same principles apply as in patent law. The court stated that it could not find a capable criterion for protectability that lies between non-obviousness in terms of patent law and novelty. Thus, apart from a different definition of the state of the art - German utility model law provides a grace period! - only inventions that would also meet the requirements of patentability can be protected by a German utility model. Why then should an inventor file a utility model application instead of a patent application - and waive ten years of protection?

As mentioned above, the German legislator had the idea that the utility model was, compared to the patent, manageable, i.e. easy to handle, and cheaper. In reality, however, a utility model application is as difficult as a patent application. Moreover, unlike in the patent granting procedure it is not possible to correct certain mistakes. The German utility model application has the same structure as a patent application: claims, description and possibly drawings. The scope of protection is determined by the claims as it is for patents. This structure requires that a utility model application is written by a person who is as competent as an educated patent agent. The idea that a utility model application needs less care and competence than a patent application can have fatal consequences especially for sole inventors.

As regards costs, the differences between the official fees for the application and maintenance of a utility model and a patent, respectively, are rather symbolic. The significant costs for the utility model application and the patent application are the attorney’s fees anyway. Thus, also from the financial point of view, there should be no reason for an applicant to prefer a German utility model to a German patent application.

In sum, the German utility model does not meet the apparent expectations of the German legislator. It can be a useful additional tool for the inventor. However, these advantages for the inventor, if wanted, could be reached by small changes to patent law: re-introduction of a grace period and, if desired, injunctive relief based on a published patent application (cf. Article 67 EPC). More problematic than the limited usefulness of the German utility model is, in my view, that it also causes costs that have to be paid by competitors who are confronted with the registration of the unexamined right. Since the utility model is not examined by the Patent Office, the competitors are forced to examine the validity of the claims. These costs can be especially high for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) which are not used to such examinations and need more advice. Thus, in many cases, SMEs are not the beneficiaries of the fact that the utility model is not examined, but the victims.

Considering, I hesitate to say “Stay as you are” and to wish for another 125 years.

Global Innovation Index 2017: Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, UK Top Annual Ranking


Global Innovation Index 2017: Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, UK Top Annual Ranking

Geneva, June 15, 2017


Released jointly by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2017 GII Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry, PwC’s Strategy& and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae)

Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK are the world’s most-innovative countries, while a group of nations including India, Kenya, and Viet Nam are outperforming their development-level peers, according to the Global Innovation Index 2017 co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Key findings show the rise of India as an emerging innovation center in Asia, high innovation performance in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to development and an opportunity to improve innovation capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Each year, the GII surveys some 130 economies using dozens of metrics, from patent filings to education spending providing decision makers a high-level look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth. In a new feature for the GII, a special section looks at “invention hotspots” Video around the globe that show the highest density of inventors listed in international patent applications.

Now in its tenth edition, the GII 2017 notes a continued gap in innovative capacity between developed and developing nations and lackluster growth rates for research and development (R&D) activities, both at the government and corporate levels.


 “Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth.”


World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2017

Source: wipo

Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

In 2017 we celebrate Innovation – Improving Lives

Every day, ordinary people are producing extraordinary new things to change the world for the better.

Their innovations take myriad forms, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous: A billboard in Peru that harvests water from the air, supplying the local community with clean drinking water; a 3D-printer at an American university that regenerates damaged human tissue; a mobile money transfer and microfinancing service from Kenya, renewable energy solutions that power fridges in rural India; a graphene battery from China that charges a mobile phone in minutes; cutting-edge assistive technologies from the Russian Federation to help people with disabilities perform everyday tasks.

Problems to progress

From new medicines and materials to improved crop varieties and communications, innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable.

Innovation is a human force that knows no limits. It turns problems into progress. It pushes the boundaries of possibility, creating unprecedented new capabilities.

World Intellectual Property Day 2017 celebrates that creative force. We’ll explore how some of the world’s most extraordinary innovations have improved our lives; and how new ideas are helping tackle shared global challenges, such as climate change, health, poverty and the need to feed an ever-expanding population.

We’ll look at how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.

Your turn

Which innovation has most improved your life? What more can be done to make sure new technologies reach the people who need them?  What do you think should be the priorities for future innovation?

Join the conversation: #worldipday

More about World IP Day

In 2000, WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP.

Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.

Public Rollout of the ASEAN Online Patent Data Service

Public Rollout of the ASEAN Online Patent Data Service

August 29, 2017

For the first time, a regional patent database service tailored for ASEAN has been made available to the public. 

With the increasing number of ASEAN patents, the service responds to the need for an online platform to access technological information in the region.

Supporting ASEAN innovation

The initiative builds on the ongoing ASEAN-WIPO collaboration to leverage WIPO technical assistance services to support ASEAN innovation. The platform will enable stakeholders, regardless of location, to access the technical, legal and business information contained in over 500,000 ASEAN patent documents.

The portal is directly linked to the WIPO PATENTSCOPE service, which is WIPO’s global patent database portal, hosting 65 million documents including 3.2 million published international patent applications (PCT).



The service was launched on July 17, 2017 during the ASEAN Working Group on IP Cooperation (AWGIPC) Task Force with the purpose of enhancing regional collaboration and encouraging technological development in ASEAN countries.  The public launch took place on August 29, 2017, during IP Week in Singapore.

Firms ignorant of intellectual rights

Source: vietnamnews

HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Many Vietnamese firms are indifferent to intellectual property rights regulated in the Trans Pacific Strategic Partnership (TPP) agreement, despite the fact that Việt Nam is a signatory to the deal, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh said.

Khánh said during a talk show held by the Government’s Portal yesterday in Hà Nội that businesses’ awareness regarding the issue was limited and inadequate.

Without effective measures, it would be very difficult for Vietnamese firms in particular and the country in general to participate in the TPP deal, he said. Once the deals took effect, Vietnamese businesses would have to spend more time on lawsuits.

 “If we do not conduct specific measures and impose stiffer penalties on the violation of intellectual property rights, we will cause severe damage and losses for individuals and organisations that have patented inventions – not to mention we are also showing our disrespect to the inventors and discouraging them to create and invent more,” Khánh said.

Another important thing to note was that Việt Nam currently only imposed administrative punishments on intellectual property rights violations, he said. But the TPP includes criminal penalties for such crimes. Violators may receive warnings and administrative fines or be imprisoned, depending on the severity of the crimes.

Lê Ngọc Lâm, Deputy Director of the Intellectual Property Rights Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology said intellectual property rights issues in the TPP deal were different from other trade agreements.

“There are things stipulated in the TPP that we’ve never thought of, such as the protection of copyrights about scents, flavours and sounds,” Lâm said. “That is obviously a real challenge for the business community.”

He said the wave of foreign investment pouring into Việt Nam was likely to trigger disputes about intellectual property rights issues. It was no coincidence that when investing in Việt Nam, most foreign firms asked the Government to commit to protect their intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property violations hurt all Vietnamese enterprises and the entire economy. They stop Việt Nam from accessing and utilising the world’s technological advancements, Lâm said.

Lâm said enforcement in Việt Nam was still limited. This was one of the weakest aspects of the country’s legal system.

There is no Vietnamese court that specialises in handling intellectual property rights cases. Many trademark and design disputes remain unsolved.

Vũ Thị Thuận, chairman of the board of directors of Traphaco Pharmaceutical JSC, said the TPP deal would also provide Việt Nam with more opportunities to make the business environment transparent and predictable.

In particular, strengthening protection for intellectual property rights will create opportunities to attract more investment in knowledge-based sectors such as pharmaceutical production like vaccines, Thuận said.

Thuận said the domestic businesses must adapt themselves to the TPP’s intellectual property right regulations, adding that the firms must also make changes in accordance with new legal regulations.

Khánh said Vietnamese firms should improve their understanding of international laws to enhance the recognition, application, development and protection of intellectual property rights; promote research and innovation; and apply science and technology for greater quality and productivity.

He added that the Government and law enforcement agencies needed to improve knowledge and experience to be able to handle cases related to intellectual property rights and build a stronger legal framework in line with the regulations of the TPP. — VNS