Asia and Pacific Program: Sub-regional and bilateral Cooperation Programs
WIPO - ASEAN
WIPO - ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) cooperation was formalized with the institutionalization in 1993 of a consultation mechanism on cooperation in the field of intellectual property (IP) through regular dialogue between WIPO and the ASEAN Geneva Committee represented by the ASEAN Ambassadors in Geneva. This forum has been a significant driving force in shaping the nature and scope of cooperation between WIPO and ASEAN by providing a regular review of the state of cooperation and identification of future areas of cooperation between ASEAN and WIPO. Such cooperation in the last decade has spanned the areas of institution and capacity building, legislative assistance, human resource development and training.
The most recent WIPO-ASEAN consultation meeting, which was held on September 15, 2004, undertook a review of WIPO-ASEAN cooperation to date. Such cooperation has witnessed a shift to high gear with the implementation of policy, strategy and practical activities aimed at enhancing the capacity of governments, creators and the private sector to use intellectual property (IP) for economic, social and cultural development. At that meeting, both ASEAN and WIPO agreed on the value of engaging in policy discussions to help in the synthesis of issues of importance to the ASEAN member States, taking into account national needs and situations, and in the determination of future directions, programs and activities. At the same time, specific joint projects will be explored in areas that will expand the possibilities and opportunities for the creation, ownership and exploitation of IP assets in the region, in addition to addressing ASEAN's interest in the areas of Traditional Knowledge, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights and the general pursuit of intra-ASEAN cooperation.
At the field level, WIPO engages in policy dialogue with policy makers and heads of IP offices in the region, particularly on strategies and approaches to meet the challenges of globalization, the digital environment and the new global IP issues. The ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (WGIPC) serves as an important institutional counterpart at the sub-regional level.
WIPO - Australia
In March 2000, the Government of Australia and WIPO signed the "WIPO-Australia Joint Statement on Cooperation for Intellectual Property Technical Assistance in Asia and the Pacific Region." The overall objective of the Agreement is to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation between WIPO and Australia in providing legal and technical assistance to countries of Asia and the Pacific region in the area of IP. As provided by the Joint Statement, a Joint Working Group was established to implement agreed upon activities. Specific activities that have been undertaken by the two sides cover a wide range of areas including information technology development, public outreach programs, improvement of management capability of IP offices, traditional knowledge, distance learning, development of IP systems in the Pacific Islands Forum Countries and collective management of copyright.
BIMST - EC stands for Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation. This trans-regional organization was founded in 1997 with the objective of pursuing cooperation for rapid economic growth of the Member States. WIPO has organized two meetings with BIMST EC, in Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, to discuss cooperation in the field of IP.
WIPO - Japan
In 1987, the Government of Japan and WIPO entered into a Funds-in-Trust arrangement as a mechanism for collaborating in raising awareness of the importance of IP and in assisting countries in Asia and the Pacific to strengthen their IP systems. This cooperation started in 1987 with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in the field of industrial property and in 1993 with the Japan Copyright Office (JCO) in the field of copyright and related rights. Over the years the Funds have since grown in size and in the range and scope of activities.
The Funds-in-Trust arrangements are utilized for the delivery of integrated programs in areas ranging from modernization of intellectual property offices, public outreach and educational activities, facilitating university-industry partnership and better use of IP assets by SMEs, to collective management of copyrights and related rights, and effective enforcement of industrial property and copyrights and related rights.
Specific activities include the organization of regional, sub-regional and national seminars and workshops, training courses, expert advisory missions, long-term fellowship programs, provision of office equipment, and translation of selected WIPO materials.
WIPO - Pacific Islands Forum Countries
Since 1983, a number of High-Level Meetings between WIPO and the Pacific Islands Forum Countries have taken place in various locations in the South Pacific. These meetings provided a useful opportunity for exchange of experiences, information and insights in the areas of IP protection and administration and discussions on possible sub-regional cooperation in the intellectual property field. In October 2001, a three-year Regionally Focused Action Plan (RFAP) for the Forum Island Countries (FICs) was initiated. The RFAP had four main areas of focus, i.e. modernization of IP legislation, strengthening of IP offices, public outreach, and enhanced regional collaboration including through the possible establishment of a regional mechanism for industrial property management as well as a regional approach to collective management of copyright. Under the RFAP, a number of specific activities have been implemented including regional meetings and workshops, preparation of studies, provision of public awareness materials, and training of IP officials.
WIPO - Republic of Korea
In November 2001, WIPO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) entered into a Framework Agreement of Cooperation aimed at promoting closer cooperation between the two organizations in fostering the protection and promotion of IP. Priority areas of cooperation have been identified as follows: use of information technology in the field of IP protection, electronic commerce and IP, promotion and protection of IP in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), IP issues regarding traditional knowledge, genetic resources and folklore, development of the International Patent System Agenda and reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), enforcement of IPRs, human resource development in the IP field, promotion of the use of the global industrial property protection systems and promotion of modern management practices of IP offices in developing countries.
WIPO - SAARC
The institutional framework of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in December 1985, to accelerate the process of economic, social and cultural development of the SAARC countries, (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
WIPO organized in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002, four sub-regional forums for intellectual property cooperation among the SAARC countries, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Katmandu, Nepal, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Thimphu, Bhutan, respectively. These Fora focused on the importance of IP for the SAARC countries and its ever-increasing impact on technological, cultural, social and economic progress in the sub-region; and the need to initiate, promote and foster closer cooperation and understanding in the field of IP and related fields in the SAARC countries. The fora also considered the major issues on intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the framework of WIPO-SAARC cooperation.
The first and second consultation meetings between WIPO and the Geneva Group of SAARC Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives took place at the Headquarters of WIPO, Geneva, in November 2000, and June 2002, respectively.
WIPO - Singapore
The Government of Singapore, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Technical Cooperation Directorate (TCD), and WIPO have been collaborating since February 1997 under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a Joint Training Program in the Field of Industrial Property. This MOU provides for the annual organization of joint training courses on IP-related themes for officials of IP and related offices, in the process sharing and pooling resources to deliver technical assistance to developing countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Among the topics covered are demystification of IP through education, awareness and public outreach, IP and technopreneurship development, IP and commercialization, valuation and licensing and use of IP system for enhancing enterprise competitiveness and growth, and creating value from copyright works and related rights in the music industry.
Apart from the above bilateral arrangements, WIPO's economic development program is supported and assisted by several institutions in the Asia and Pacific region which regularly cooperate with WIPO by hosting and bearing some of the costs involved with respect to activities undertaken regularly in the region. Among these are
- The Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which has since 1984, cooperated with WIPO in organizing and hosting the annual WIPO Regional Training Course on Intellectual Property for Developing Countries of Asia and the Pacific
- The International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) in Daeduk, Republic of Korea which has since 1986 organized and financially supported an annual training program held in Daeduk for developing countries of the region.
- The China Intellectual Property Training Center (CIPTC) in Beijing, China which has since 1998 organized at least one regional seminar/training program per year for the developing countries of the region.
- The Institute for Intellectual Property Development (IIPD) in New Delhi, India, which organizes a number of general and specialized intellectual property related activities every year.