World Intellectual Property Organization

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WIPO Assemblies Provide Direction for Future Work, Director General Welcomes Positive Engagement of Member States on Substantive Issues (PR/2011/698)

Representatives of WIPO’s 184 member states, meeting at their annual Assemblies in Geneva from September 26 to October 5, 2011 took a landmark decision to call a diplomatic conference to agree an international treaty on the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. They took stock of the Organization’s substantive work over the last year, provided direction for the future work program, and approved a program and budget for the Organization for the next biennium (2012/13). WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said this year’s Assemblies were characterized by a remarkable spirit of engagement and commitment by member states to address the pressing intellectual property (IP) issues on the global agenda and hoped this would continue.

WIPO Member States Advance Toward Treaty to Protect Audiovisual Performances (PR/2011/697)

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed a decision today by WIPO’s General Assembly to convene a diplomatic conference in 2012 to agree an international treaty on the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. The convening of a diplomatic conference signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations.

Barbara Hendricks Joins IP Community in Inauguration of New WIPO Building (PR/2011/696)

Barbara Hendricks, one of the world’s leading opera singers and a best-selling recording artist, joined WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, high-level members of the Geneva and Swiss government, and the international intellectual property (IP) community tonight in inaugurating the new WIPO administration building. The new building, which looks onto Geneva’s Place des Nations, is the work of award-winning Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany.

Director General Welcomes Advances in Normative Agenda, Outlines Future Challenges (PR/2011/695)

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said today that the international intellectual property (IP) community faces three major challenges in the coming years – management of demand of IP applications, the migration of all cultural content to the Internet, and enhancing the capacity of least developed and developing countries to use the IP system for encouraging innovation and creativity. Mr. Gurry said that deep engagement and commitment would be required to address these challenges successfully. Mr. Gurry also welcomed progress in WIPO’s normative agenda, attributing this to closer collaboration and understanding among WIPO’s member states.

WIPO Releases Compilation of Recent IP Statistics (PR/2011/694)

WIPO released today an overview of intellectual property (IP) activity in 2009, the last year where full data are available. WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011 covers patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs and serves as a quick reference guide for IP statistics gathered from 90 IP offices around the world. It shows that trademark protection – with over 3 million applications filed per year since 2005 – is the most sought-after form of IP globally. The China Trademark Office received a quarter of all trademark applications worldwide in 2009. Figures for industrial designs show significant growth rates, also owing to high filing activity in China.

WIPO Conference to Address Role of Innovation in Meeting Climate Change Challenges (MA/2011/58)

An international conference hosted by WIPO on July 11-12 will address the role of innovation and technology in the development and diffusion of green technologies to provide solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. The Conference on Innovation and Climate Change, which brings together major stakeholders – international organizations, government, industry, and civil society – will focus on innovation partnerships between the public and private sector to develop and diffuse relevant technologies. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, Ambassador, Special Representative for Climate Change, Mexico, will open the Conference.

Agreement on Transfer of Rights Paves Way to Treaty on Performers’ Rights (PR/2011/692)

WIPO’s top copyright negotiating body will recommend to the September session of the General Assembly to resume a Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances after agreement on the last outstanding issue relating to the transfer of rights. The convening of a diplomatic conference signals entry into the final phase of treaty negotiations, with the objective of concluding a treaty that would shore up the rights of performers in their audiovisual performances.

WIPO Director General Announces Rights Registry Project for West African States (PR/2011/691)

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry today announced a project to build a common digital platform which will help streamline the identification of protected musical works across 11 West African countries, helping creators from these countries get paid for their work through a simplified and standardized rights registration system. U.S. firm Google will be WIPO’s technology partner in developing this new web-based system, which builds upon WIPOCOS (WIPO Software for Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights).

Agreement with General Contractor Paves Way for Beginning of Conference Hall Construction (PR/2011/690)

Construction work on a new conference hall for WIPO will begin later this summer following the signing this week of a contract with Swiss construction firm Implenia who has been selected by an international jury - composed of representatives of WIPO member states - to serve as general contractor. The conference hall is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

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