WIPO's Technical Assistance to IP Offices
WIPO’s technical assistance program for Industrial Property Offices falls within Strategic Goal IV - Coordination and Development of Global IP Infrastructure. Technical assistance is provided in accordance with the mandate of the WIPO Convention (Article 4(V)), provisions of WIPO-administered treaties such as the PCT, and the recommendations of the WIPO Development Agenda, particularly recommendations 8 and 10.
WIPO's technical assistance program aims to assist offices of all sizes and from all regions to participate effectively in the global IP system.
As an IP Office develops its capacity, and as the IP system becomes a more important part of the economic activity of a country, Offices are expected to meet new challenges and provide better and more advanced services to their stakeholders.
WIPO's programs are designed to help Offices meet three broad objectives:
- Efficiency: IP Offices need to provide efficient services for the examination and registration of applications for IP rights. Automated systems help to increase productivity in an office, to provide standardized business processes such as search and examination of applications, and to increase quality of the granted IP rights. The main services offered by WIPO to meet this objective are consulting and advisory services, and automated software systems for the administration of IP rights (IPAS).
- Online Services: Stakeholders of IP Offices (applicants, agents, researchers, local industry, policy makers, etc) are increasingly demanding online services such as search systems, online registries and online filing systems. WIPO responds to this need by assisting IP offices with the digitization of their IP records and with preparing data for online publication and for electronic data exchange. WIPO also provides the Patentscope search service through which offices can provide high-quality online patent search to local and international users.
- Integration into Regional and International Networks of IP Offices: By their nature, many applications for IP rights are filed in many different Offices. IP Offices are increasingly interested in sharing information between them in order to increase efficiency and quality of the granted IP rights. WIPO is developing systems to assist offices with the exchange of priority documents and of search and examination results. When such infrastructure services are available at a multilateral level, offices can save the resources that may otherwise be used to create multiple, parallel systems. For countries that are members of the PCT, Madrid or Hague systems, WIPO offers assistance to exchange data and documents electronically with the International Bureau and with other offices.
- technical advice and guidance;
- assistance in preparing automation strategic plans;
- benchmarking of existing systems and gap analysis;
- needs assessment;
- project scoping and planning;
- simplification of business procedures (business process re-engineering);
- evaluation of the effectiveness, impact and sustainability of assistance.
- customization of a WIPO standard automation product (the Industrial Property Automation System - IPAS) to adapt to the specific individual needs of IP institutions including national IP legislation, regulations, administrative procedures and workflow control;
- data analysis, extraction, transformation and migration of data from legacy systems into the new system;
- digitization of bibliographic data from paper files (WIPOScan Software Package);
- Digital Access Service for Priority Documents (WIPO DAS);
- Centralized Access for Search and Examination (WIPO CASE) ;
- upgrading of IT infrastructure to support automation;
- deployment, testing and putting into operation of the automation system.
Capacity building is an essential and critical element of the Program's assistance. It is not a one-off ad hoc activity but rather it is provided over a certain period of time to re-enforce and extend the institution's capacity at each stage of automation. Where appropriate, some of these services may be offered online, in particular, to the local IT staff supporting the automation system:
- training on the transition from existing work practices to the new simplified workflow procedures and on the level of discipline required for automation;
- training of office staff on how to use the automation system to perform their day-to-day tasks, procedures and actions at each stage of IP administration;
- training of management on how they can use the systems features for planning, performance monitoring, statistics and analytical queries;
- knowledge transfer to local IT staff on the system operation, configuration, maintenance, first-level support, backup and disaster recovery;
- technical support, as required, for trouble-shooting and resolving system problems or to respond to technical queries.
Workshops and Seminars
The Program conducts and participates in national, regional and international workshops and seminars focusing on aspects relating to modernization of IP institutions. These events are aimed at providing an international exposure to country participants and at facilitating the sharing and exchange of national experiences, issues, challenges, success stories, lessons learned and good practices.
The Program invests in the ongoing development of the WIPO automation products and tools to keep it relevant to the changing legislative and administrative requirements of IP institutions as well as to benefit from emerging technologies to improve their flexibility, reliability and ease of maintenance. These services include:
- development of new features and functionality to further extend the use of automation at an institution;
- development of customer-oriented online services that the institutions can offer to their stakeholders and the public;
- development of e-communication modules for interface with WIPO Treaties;
- development of data exchange module for the WIPO PATENTSCOPE;
- development of interfaces between the WIPO products and regional IP organizations;
- development of a System for Administration and Processing of International Applications PCT SAPIA (joint effort between WIPO and the Israeli Patent Office);
- distribution of new product releases and support over the Internet.