World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Director General Meets Vice President of Guatemala, Addresses Ministerial Meeting

Geneva, December 3, 2010
PR/2010/674

During an official visit to Guatemala from December 1-2, 2010, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry met with Vice President Rafael Espada, top Government and IP officials, as well as ministers responsible for intellectual property from six Central American countries.

In discussions with Vice President Rafael Espada, the Director General expressed WIPO’s support in the realization of Guatemala’s development objectives; in particular, in the formulation of a national innovation and intellectual property strategy.  Mr. Gurry also pledged WIPO’s continued support in the area of capacity building and technical and legal assistance.   

Mr. Gurry also met with the Minister of Economy, Mr. Erick Coyoy, the Vice-Minister of Investment and Competition, Mr. Abel Cruz, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Mr. Luis Arturo Archila, as well as the Registrar of trademarks, patents and copyright, Mrs. Ileana Benitez. 

In an address to Government officials and representatives from academia and the private sector in Guatemala City, Mr. Gurry focused on the utility of intellectual property as a tool for companies and countries to move up the value chain of production and to recognize the value added by new functionalities, technology, branding and marketing. 

A major element of the visit was Mr. Gurry’s participation in the First Central American Ministerial Conference on Innovation, Public Policies and Industrial Property. This involved ministers and senior officials from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The meeting concluded with a Final Ministerial Declaration calling for the creation of a “permanent Central American dialogue and consultation process on intellectual property and innovation.” The Declaration calls on WIPO to provide assistance to each of the countries, particularly in the development of national innovation and intellectual property strategies.

The Ministerial came at the initiative of the Government of Guatemala with the main objective of establishing a sub-regional forum designed to promote a high-level dialogue on intellectual property strategies which link to other public policy areas.  Mr. Gurry applauded this initiative and, in a keynote presentation to the Ministerial, spoke on the importance of innovation for economic growth and sustainable development.

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