WIPO member states made significant progress in advancing the work of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) this week. This first session of the IGC under its new mandate to conduct "text-based negotiations" to reach agreement on an international legal instrument (or instruments) that ensure the effective protection of traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and genetic resources (GRs), was chaired by Ambassador Philip Owade of Kenya. This session of the IGC met from May 3 to 7, 2010.
WIPO unveiled its new logo on April 26, 2010 – a date which marks the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the WIPO Convention and the 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day. The new logo forms the cornerstone of a new visual identity for the Organization, in line with the new directions being taken to keep pace with the rapid evolution of intellectual property in the 21st century.
WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) and the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) are to join forces later this month in providing alternative dispute resolution services to address problems of format plagiarism or the unauthorized copying of television (TV) formats, such as those used for game, reality or talent shows and sitcoms.
WIPO is to launch the first in a series of seminars on “The Economics of Intellectual Property” on March 26, 2010. The event will feature leading economists from around the world and is designed to stimulate and inform international debate on the linkages between intellectual property (IP) protection and economic development.
Demand for WIPO’s dispute resolution services, in particular relating to cybersquatting cases, continued in 2009 with trademark holders filing 2,107 complaints under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which at WIPO became a paperless operation at the end of 2009. While this caseload represents a 9.5% decrease over 2008, it covers the highest number of individual domain names in a given year (4,688) since the UDRP - a quick and cost effective way of addressing allegations of cybersquatting - was launched ten years ago.
International trademark filings under WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (“the Madrid system”) dropped by 16% in 2009 as a result of the global economic downturn, though increases were observed among some major users of the system, notably the European Union (EU) (3.1%) and Japan (2.7%), as well as in the Republic of Korea (ROK) (+33.9%), Singapore (+20.5%), Croatia (+17.5%) and Hungary (+14.5%).
Improved access to copyright-protected content for the blind and other persons with visual or print disabilities (VIPs) was the focus of an international training course co-organized by the United States Copyright Office and WIPO in Washington from March 8 to 12, 2010. The International Training Program for Developing Countries and Countries in Transition on Emerging Issues in Copyright and Related Rights and Issues Pertaining to Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, brought together policy-makers and experts from 28 countries.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry wrapped up an official visit to Japan from March 1 to March 5, 2010, during which he met a number of high level Government representatives, including Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Masayuki Naoshima, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichi Takemasa, as well as Japan Patent Office (JPO) Commissioner Tetsuhiro Hosono.
International patent filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fell by 4.5% in 2009 with sharper than average declines experienced by some industrialized countries and growth in a number of East Asian countries. Provisional data indicates that 155,900 (annex 1) international patent applications were filed in 2009 as compared to the nearly 164,000 applications filed in 2008.