Designers from the sixteen member states of the African Intellectual Property Organization (known by its French acronym OAPI - Organisation africaine de la propriété intellectuelle) will, from January 1, 2009, benefit from a 90% reduction in fees prescribed under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, an international treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that helps designers acquire protection for their designs in multiple countries. This decision was taken by WIPO member states who are meeting in Geneva from September 22 to 30, 2008 on the occasion of their annual Assemblies.
As of October 1, 2008, the terms of two key international copyright treaties will extend to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). The Government of the People’s Republic of China has notified the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that it has extended application of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Phonograms and Performances Treaty (WPPT) – known as the “Internet Treaties” - to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. These treaties which entered into force in 2002 bring the international system of copyright and related rights more in line with the challenges of the digital age.
The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appointed by acclamation on September 22, 2008, Mr. Francis Gurry, a national of Australia, as Director General of WIPO for a six-year term that begins on October 1, 2008 and runs through September 2014. Member states as a whole congratulated Mr. Gurry on his appointment and highlighted his wealth of experience in intellectual property and the professionalism that he brings to this position.
WIPO General Assembly Opens (PR/2008/563)
The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), meeting from September 22-30, 2008, opened today with the appointment by acclamation of Mr. Francis Gurry as Director General and the Director General-elect outlining his priorities for the Organization (please see PR/2008/564). Mr. Gurry joined the Chairman of the WIPO General Assembly, Ambassador Martin I. Uhomoibhi, who is also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, as well as delegates in paying tribute to outgoing Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, for his 25-year long career at WIPO.
Regional Post Graduate IP Program Launched in Zimbabwe (UPD/2008/306)
In a bid to address the human resource needs of African countries in the field of intellectual property (IP), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO, Harare, Zimbabwe) and Africa University (Mutare, Zimbabwe) has launched a masters degree program in IP. Twenty students from diverse backgrounds (including law, engineering, business administration, information technology, library sciences and journalism) have enrolled in the postgraduate program which is the first of its kind in Africa. The students come from 12 African countries (Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Similar programs are being tailored to the specific IP educational needs of other regions.
Increased patent filings in North East Asian countries (mainly China and the Republic of Korea (ROK)) and the United States of America (USA) drove growth in worldwide filing of patent applications, which topped 1.76 million in 2006, representing a 4.9% increase over 2005, according to the 2008 edition of the Patent Report of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
SCT Examines Non-Traditional Marks, Trademark Opposition Procedures and Industrial Designs (UPD/2008/305)
Non-traditional marks, such as holograms and scent marks, trademark opposition procedures, and questions relating to the registration of industrial designs topped the agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) (19th session), which met from July 21 to 25, 2008. The meeting, attended by 82 member states, 4 intergovernmental organizations and 11 non-governmental organizations, focused on exploring ways to establish greater clarity on issues relating to the registration of trademarks and industrial designs.
International Conference Calls for Strengthening of IP Management Education and Research (PR/2008/561)
The need to strengthen intellectual property (IP) management education and research, especially in developing countries, dominated discussions at a two-day international conference organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on July 17 and 18, 2008. The International Conference on Intellectual Property (IP) Management Education and Research, attended by over thirty academics, mainly from business schools, corporate executives and policy makers, from eighteen countries around the world, was the first of its kind to take an in-depth look at the state of global IP management education and research and to establish a road map for its future development. The Conference adopted a declaration which underlines the urgent need to include IP management education programs into the curricula of schools of business, engineering and law. The declaration further calls on WIPO to assume a leadership role in the development of this important and emerging discipline.
Implementation of WIPO Development Agenda Moves Forward (PR/2008/560)
The Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), established by the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in October 2007, held its second meeting from July 7-11, 2008 and moved forward in discussing the implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda (summary by the Chair). The meeting, which was attended by 101 member states, 8 inter-governmental organizations and 37 non-governmental organizations, held detailed discussions on further developing a work program for implementation of the recommendations approved by the General Assembly.
WIPO and SERCI Examine Economic Aspects of Copyright (PR/2008/559)
A meeting jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI) in Geneva on 10 and 11 July, 2008 examined the economic importance of copyright and underlined the need for further research on the role of copyright in the creative industries.