WIPO SMEs Newsletter June 2013

June 10, 2013


By the SMEs Section of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

WIPO SMEs Newsletter is a monthly e-publication providing readers with useful intellectual property (IP) information contained in articles, case studies, forthcoming IP/SMEs relevant events, and published presentations featured on our web site.  We hope you will find it useful and informative.  We encourage you to share the newsletter or items of interest with friends and colleagues.  For past issues and information on the activities of the SMEs Section, please visit http://www.wipo.int/sme.


Historic Treaty Adopted, Boosts Access to Books for Visually Impaired Persons Worldwide

International negotiators meeting under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted on June 27, 2013, a landmark new treaty that boosts access to books for the benefit of hundreds of millions of people who are blind, visually impaired and print-disabled.

The treaty, approved after more than a week of intense debate among negotiators gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, is the culmination of years of work on improving access for the blind, visually impaired, and print disabled to published works in formats such as Braille, large print text and audio books.

Bringing together more than 600 negotiators from WIPO’s 186 member states, WIPO convened the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities on June 18. The conference is scheduled to formally end on 28, 2013.

The treaty, called the  Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, addresses the “book famine” by requiring its contracting parties to adopt national law provisions that permit the reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in accessible formats through limitations and exceptions to the rights of copyright owners.

It also provides for the exchange of these accessible format works across borders by organizations that serve the people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled. It will harmonize limitations and exceptions so that these organizations can operate across borders. This sharing of works in accessible formats should increase the overall number of works available because it will eliminate duplication and increase efficiency. Instead of five countries producing accessible versions of the same work, the five countries will each be able to produce an accessible version of a different work, which can then be shared with each of the other countries.

Currently, it is left to national governments to define what limitations and exceptions are permitted. In practice, limitations and exceptions contained in national laws vary widely. In many countries copying for private use is free, but only a few countries make exceptions for, say, distance learning. Moreover, the exemptions apply only in the country concerned.

The treaty is also designed to provide assurances to authors and publishers that that system will not expose their published works to misuse or distribution to anyone other than the intended beneficiaries. The treaty reiterates the requirement that the cross-border sharing of works created based on limitations and exceptions must be limited to certain special cases which do not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonable prejudice the legitimate interests of the rightholder.

The treaty calls for cooperation among its contracting parties in order to foster cross-border exchanges. The parties are committed to increasing the availability of published works as quickly as possible, and this cooperation will be an important step toward achieving that goal.

Read more .

World’s Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) Meet in Silicon Valley

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a meeting of the heads of the world’s five largest intellectual property offices in Cupertino, California.  Known as the IP5, members include the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO).

During the meeting, the heads renewed their commitment to develop the “Global Dossier,” a system to simplify the viewing and management of applications filed in the IP5 Offices. The heads also agreed to adopt the Global Classification Initiative, a new effort to harmonize patent classification.  The heads confirmed the adoption of an IP5 Patent Information (PI) policy, pursuant to which each of the offices will work towards providing barrier free access to patent data.  The heads reaffirmed work-sharing in the framework of IP5 cooperation, and endorsed the development of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot project between all IP5 Offices.  Additionally, the heads stressed the need to advance harmonization of substantive and procedural patent law.  To this end, the heads reviewed the progress in the work of the IP5 Patent Harmonization Experts Panel, and considered next steps.

Read more .

Europe and China agree to use same patent classification system (CPC)

The EPO and the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. (SIPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance their cooperation in the area of patent classification. Within the terms of this MoU, as of January 2014 the SIPO will start classifying its newly published invention patent applications in some selected technical fields into the CPC after receiving dedicated training from the EPO, and will strive to classify its new invention patent applications according to the CPC in all technical areas from January 2016. The corresponding classification data will be shared with the EPO. The CPC is the most refined classification system for patent documents in the world (250 000 subdivisions) which entered into force at the EPO and at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 1 January 2013. It is largely based on the European Classification (ECLA) system formerly used at the EPO.

Read more.

USPTO and KIPO Announce Launch of Cooperative Patent Classification System Pilot

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced the launch of a new pilot in which KIPO will classify some of its patent documents using the Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC), a new classification system jointly managed by the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO). KIPO is the first foreign patent office to engage with the USPTO and EPO in this new system, which debuted on January 1, 2013.

The pilot between KIPO and the USPTO marks a major first step towards KIPO classifying its patent collection using the CPC. For the pilot, KIPO will apply the CPC classification to patent documents in particular technologies, namely, technologies for which filings have been especially active at KIPO. KIPO will work together with the USPTO to identify these technologies.

Read more.

Resources on IP Asset Management 

General Information on Training of Trainers Program, the SMEs Section, WIPO

The SMEs Section of WIPO supports the organization of national Training of Trainers (TOT) Programs in countries that have translated and/or adapted the basic materials on IP for Business published by the Section. The objective of the TOTs is to create a critical mass of trainers in the country with enough knowledge and skills to provide assistance to SMEs on effective IP asset management at a basic level. For more details, please see here.

IP PANORAMA™ Multimedia Toolkit 

The IP PANORAMA ™ multimedia toolkit is now available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Hungarian, Vietnamese and Thai versions on or through the pages at http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/multimedia/ and http://www.ippanorama.com/. A Russian language version is expected to be available soon.

CD-ROMs of the English, Arabic, French and Spanish versions are also available on request. Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the CD-ROM may email publications.mail@wipo.int providing the full postal address, including telephone number, and indicating the purpose for which the CD-ROM would be used.  Please note that requests without complete postal address will not be processed.


International Patents Guide

This application guide is designed to help you prepare and file an international patent application.

Read more.

IP joint ownership

This fact sheet is aiming to highlight the most essential IP issues to be addressed when handling jointly owned assets in contractual arrangements, in order to avoid the joint ownership pitfalls. By ensuring that the ownership of the generated IP, and the related responsibility for its protection and defense, are correctly allocated, collaborative projects have more chance to be efficiently implemented and litigation between partners to be avoided.

Read more.

Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation

This report was prepared by the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Science & Technology Policy. The USPTO is going to implement a five-step plan in an effort to thwart patent trolls.

International Patent Strategies for Biopharmaceutical SMEs in Canada

This report was commissioned by Industry Canada to examine the current state of international patent strategies for biopharmaceutical small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It provides an overview of typical patent strategies of SMEs, and includes some of the “best practice” international patent strategies that Canadian biopharmaceutical SMEs can use to position themselves favourably to attract venture capital investment and pharmaceutical partners. Patent checklists that are typically used by investors and Big Pharma to evaluate the patent programs of SMEs are included. Strategic considerations for developing a biopharmaceutical SME’s patent program and budgets are also addressed.

Publicly Funded Research for SMEs: Is it worth trying?

Innovation is essential to biomedical ventures, but finding the necessary financing can be difficult for small and/or early-stage firms. For this study, 73 Swiss biomedical companies provided data on their use and perceptions of public and/or philanthropic funding. Of the responding companies, 94% had applied at least once for public funding, and 85% of those who applied received funds. Forty-eight percent of companies have a success rate of more than 50% with their grant applications. Lack of time and human resources were the major reasons for not applying or for not applying more often. Concern about intellectual property rights was a further impediment. Related to these points, firms suggest that funding agencies apply a simpler and more transparent application procedure.

Read more .

Forthcoming Events

WIPO Conference on IP, Technology Transfer and Dispute Resolution in the Energy Sector, September 6, 2013. Bonn, Germany

The successful development and commercialization of energy technologies requires considered intellectual property (IP) strategies, contract drafting and a careful choice of dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms.  This is of relevance for all entities involved in commercial and research transactions in renewable and conventional energies, as well as in energy efficiency.

The Conference will provide an overview of green technologies and IP in the energy sector, IP risk protection strategies and dispute resolution options. Practitioners will present their experience with contract negotiations and dispute resolution, including licensing, assignments, mergers & acquisitions, or research and development collaborations.  Specific information will be provided on dispute resolution in Asia and energy research funding.

This Conference is organized by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, the University of Bonn, and supported by the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) - Chemicals, Energy, Environment and Materials Committee, the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA) and the European IPR Helpdesk.

Further program and registration information is available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/events/conferences/2013/bonn/

WIPO Arbitration Workshop, October 10-11, 2013, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute.  In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.  The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center will offer an Arbitration Workshop in Seoul, on Thursday, October 10 and Friday, October 11, 2013.  This Workshop will provide intensive basic training of a practical nature for party representatives in arbitration and for arbitrators, as well as others wishing to familiarize themselves with the international arbitration process.  The training, which will be conducted by experienced international arbitrators, will focus on the main principles of international commercial arbitration law and practice, with particular reference to the practical application of the WIPO Arbitration and Expedited Arbitration Rules in intellectual property and technology disputes.

Further information is available at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/events/


The SMEs Section welcomes voluntary contributions of articles, case studies, news items, useful links and relevant information concerning forthcoming events of interest to entrepreneurs and SMEs for inclusion in future issues of this newsletter; contributions may be sent by email to sme@wipo.int.

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Past issues of this newsletter, since August 2001, may be accessed here.

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