World Intellectual Property Organization

Legislative Assistance

Upon request by individual member states, WIPO provides tailored advice on the design of laws on patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications (GIs), as well as on provisions on IP enforcement, taking into account specific country needs and situations.  All legislative advice is provided on a strictly bilateral, neutral and confidential basis.

The assistance offered to developing countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and countries in transition includes:
  • Advice/assistance in the preparation of laws/provisions;
  • Comments on draft national laws/provisions;
  • Advisory missions to discuss IP‑related legislative issues with policymakers;
  • Specific advice on policy issues, on compliance with international treaty obligations or with negotiated bilateral or regional agreements, on the use of multilateral flexibilities in the country’s interest, or on national/regional strategies aimed at building respect for IP.
(Photo: iStock.com/forgiss)

Advice on flexibilities

Since 2000, and in particular since the debate in the WTO TRIPS Council on access to public health, WIPO member states have increasingly sought assistance and advice on the flexibilities that are available under international treaties.

Taking account of the specific national development needs and public policies that each country wishes to address, WIPO assists them in identifying IP strategies and related flexibilities that can be adopted to support their public policies in a way that is consistent with their international obligations.

Advice on flexibilities provided by WIPO is strictly bilateral, confidential and neutral.

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Modalities of legislative assistance

WIPO provides legislative advice under a number of different modalities, in accordance with the specific interests and the requests of member states. Legislative advice is provided on a strictly bilateral and confidential basis.

For example, a country that does not have IP legislation in a particular field may request a draft law from the WIPO Secretariat. The draft would take into account specific national considerations, such as that country'’s membership of international agreements, and its level of economic development. The authorities of the requesting country would be encouraged to revise the draft as they see fit. The Secretariat would then provide comments on the revised text.

The enactment of such a law would not, however, be the end of the assistance, but rather the end of a first phase. Once the law was enacted, the member state may request further WIPO assistance to aid its efficient implementation and enforcement. This might include generating awareness of the new legislation; and training officials, judges and lawyers.

The WIPO Secretariat also undertakes advisory missions to member states upon request for bilateral discussions on legislative matters; or receives national officials and policy-makers for discussions at WIPO headquarters. Discussions on legislative matters are also addressed in the course of numerous other workshops, roundtables, seminars and meetings.

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