World Intellectual Property Organization

Inter-Regional Forum on Development and Service-Oriented IP Administration

August 2008

“Intellectual property administrations and offices have a major role to play in transforming the vast development potential of IP into concrete and tangible benefits for the countries.” – Deputy Director General Narendra K. Sabharwal

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(Photo WIPO/Mercedes Martínez Dozal)

A WIPO Inter-Regional Forum on Development and Service-Oriented Intellectual Property (IP) Administration, which took place in Geneva on July 1 and 2, was the first of its kind to take an in-depth look at the needs and expectations of IP administrations of all countries. Intensive discussions focused on IP-related institutional and policy challenges, opportunities and reforms in the context of overall national development strategies with a view to making a positive and tangible contribution to social, cultural and economic development.

The Forum covered ten broad themes of vital interest to IP administrations to meet the challenges and seize the emerging opportunities in the field of IP and in making such administrations more responsive to and consistent with the attainment of national development objectives. Among the core issues discussed was the need to heighten awareness of IP and its critical role in promoting development. Participants also discussed the importance of a development dimension in the formulation of IP policies and strategies, in line with the WIPO Development Agenda. Information technology in IP management and the role of IP administrations in international negotiations were also addressed. The Forum also underscored the significance of sub-regional, regional and international cooperation in meeting the institutional challenges in the creation and management of IP assets.

The Forum focused on practical measures to improve and expand the range of value-added services available to all stakeholders, including the public, to forge relations with the IP user community and to ensure that IP administrations are better able to support national development objectives. Participants also explored new approaches to the challenges currently facing IP administrations, in terms of workload, organizational efficiency and the delivery of value-added services. 

Participating in the closing session, WIPO Director General-elect Francis Gurry reconfirmed that WIPO would continue to support capacity building initiatives and underlined the need for WIPO to be responsive to the specific needs, expectations, policies and strategies of member states in the use of IP for development. In this context, Mr. Gurry identified the strengthening of WIPO’s cooperation with Member States and the effective implementation of the WIPO Development Agenda as areas of utmost priority.

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