World Intellectual Property Organization

Statement
Adopted by the
WIPO Asia - Pacific Regional Forum on Policy Development,
Institution Building and Demystification of Intellectual Property

New Delhi
August 29 to 31, 2001

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized, in cooperation with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the WIPO Asia - Pacific Regional Forum on Policy Development, Institution Building and Demystification of Intellectual Property in New Delhi from August 29 to 31, 2001.

The opening ceremony was addressed by Mr. V. Govindarajan, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Mr. N. K. Sabharwal, Director, WIPO, Mr. Chirayu R. Amin, President, FICCI and
Dr. K Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Chairman, Institute of Intellectual Property Development.

Senior officials and eminent panelists responsible for intellectual property (IP) policies and administration from 23 countries of Asia and the Pacific region participated in the Forum to examine various issues concerning policy development, institution building and demystification of intellectual property.

The Forum, recognizing

  • that rapid globalization and transition to an increasingly technology driven and knowledge-based economy presents both challenges and opportunities for intellectual property development;
  • the concerns of developing and least developed countries with regard to implementation issues under the existing international framework of intellectual property protection and the need to identify appropriate solutions;
  • that institutional capacity building would need to include strategic application of information technology in intellectual property administration and strengthening and optimization of human resource capital;
  • the importance of intellectual property policy development for developing and least developed countries and the growing impact of intellectual property protection in technological, socio-economic, cultural and social progress;
  • the need for demystification of intellectual property precepts and practices for wider public understanding and awareness;
  • the criticality of enhanced protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in effective transfer of technologies;
  • the significance of a strategic approach towards intellectual property management involving policy, legal and administrative aspects;
  • the sensitivities on certain emerging issues in intellectual property such as access to genetic resources, traditional knowledge and the need for a proactive and objective consensus building agenda;

considered various issues relating to intellectual property policy, institution building and the measures for demystification of intellectual property issues and highlighted the following:

Recent Trends in Intellectual Property Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Countries in the 21st Century

  • The need to develop a more equitable balance between intellectual property rights as individual rights and the obligation towards society in regard to broader public policy issues such as:
    • public health and access to medicines
    • adequate recognition of returns on utilization of community held IP resources
    • geographical indications
    • The need to develop an effective policy response to new challenges posed by the expanding frontiers of IP as a consequence of converging technologies in the digital era as also new and emerging technologies

TRIPS Agreement Implementation Issues and Post-TRIPS Scenario

  • The primary need to critically evaluate the post-TRIPS balance sheet with a view to maximize and accelerate the full realization of perceived benefits for all member nations.
  • The urgency of finding equitable and satisfactory responses to TRIPS related implementation concerns to raise the comfort level of nations vis-à-vis their adaptation of modified/ new systems and allow a more rapid development of IP systems.
  • The need for continuing increased and substantive assistance to developing and least developed countries in their transition to TRIPS compliant IP systems.

Intellectual Property Dimensions of Digital Economy

  • The need to optimally utilize opportunities offered by technological advancements in digital technology to address relevant intellectual property issues
  • The importance of monitoring the legal and policy implications of the digital economy, particularly in the area of e-commerce
  • The need to promote education, training and awareness in order to bridge the digital divide.

Intellectual Property and its Role: Key message for the General Public

  • The importance of demystifying intellectual property through simplified communications in order to encourage IP literacy at all levels
  • To make the intellectual property system an integral part of the national economic, science and technology and educational policy
  • To promote and encourage innovative, inventive and creative activity through appropriate institutional mechanisms.

Information Technology for Strengthening Institutional Capacities and Service Orientation of Intellectual Property Offices

  • The paramountcy of installing user-friendly and sustainable IT systems for improved access to IP information
  • To strengthen the modernization initiatives using IT as a strategic tool to increase service orientation
  • To promote creation and dissemination of IP databases for improving institutional capabilities of IP offices and the end users.

Appropriate Institutional Framework and Coordinating Mechanism for Improved Management of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)

  • The strengthening of the institutional framework and coordinating mechanism for improved enforcement of intellectual property rights with a view to catalyze investments and technology transfer

Mounting a Public Outreach Campaign: Key Elements

  • The need for a structured approach to public outreach programs based on an interactive and continuous evaluation of user requirements
  • To develop specific, target oriented outreach programs
  • To widely disseminate the usefulness of intellectual property systems through optimal use of various means of communications
  • To promote a culture of respect for intellectual property rights through appropriate educational policies

Intellectual Property Policy Initiatives for Enhancing Business Competitiveness in the New Economy

  • The need to integrate IP management in business practices to enhance competitiveness through use of various intellectual property tools
  • The need to encourage innovative efforts by enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises, through policy measures in order to optimize exploitation of the intellectual property system for business competitiveness through cost reduction and quality upgradation

The Importance of the Valuation of Intellectual Property Assets

  • The recognition of the importance of IP assets valuation in view of the growing impact of intangible assets in the knowledge based economy
  • To acknowledge and realize the value of IP assets in order to facilitate licensing and transfer of technology on equitable terms.

Intellectual Property Issues Related to the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Access to Genetic Resources and Folklore

  • To extend protection to areas of traditional knowledge utilizing the established advantages of information technology through the setting up of Traditional Knowledge Digital Libraries (TKDLs).
  • To consider the possibility of creating sui-generis systems for the protection of traditional knowledge, expressions of folklore including handicrafts and access to genetic resources where the existing intellectual property regime does not adequately address concerns relating to these areas.
  • To recognize, protect and preserve traditional knowledge, encourage innovation and creativity and promote the sharing of benefits through the effective use of appropriate systems, including intellectual property systems.

The Forum acknowledged the need for participating countries to constructively cooperate to develop a common strategy and a common platform to echo mutual concerns relating to emerging intellectual property issues such as protection of traditional knowledge, bio-resources, the digital environment, and issues raised by converging technologies, etc. Implementation issues under the TRIPS Agreement were also considered as significant and relevant for developing and least developed countries.

The Forum stressed the need to facilitate and strengthen cooperation among the developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the areas of protection, capacity building, public outreach program, awareness generation and administration of the intellectual property systems, and the need for WIPO to support and supplement such initiatives.

The participants expressed their appreciation to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and to the Institute of Intellectual Property Development (IIPD) for the organization of the Forum. The participants also thanked the Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization for inviting eminent resource persons from the region. The Forum provided an excellent opportunity to the participating countries of Asia and the Pacific region to share experiences on intellectual property policies and strategies. The participating countries requested WIPO to continue to provide necessary assistance in implementing the priorities identified by the Forum.

[End of document]

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