Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

WIPO Director General Visits India, Hails Country’s IP Engagement

January 12, 2019

NEW DELHI, India – Paying a three-day visit to India, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the country’s engagement with the international intellectual property (IP) system and hailed its growing leadership role in the global economy as he spoke at two high-level conferences and held meetings with senior officials.

During his January 10-12, 2019, visit, Mr. Gurry participated January 10, 2019 in New Delhi at the Raisina Dialogue 2019, one of India's most influential conferences on geopolitics and geo-economics, which is convened by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Raisina 2019 | Innovation Capital: Ideas for Industrialisation 4.0. (Video on YouTube) video

The Conference addresses the most challenging issues facing the global community, hosting global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters. Participants include heads of state, cabinet ministers, leading private-sector executives, as well as members of the media and academia.

"Innovation is a critical component of all competition and intellectual property is one of the key tools to protect competitive advantage arising from that innovation,” said Mr. Gurry, who congratulated India on its economic dynamism. He added: "The good news is that India's IP system is aligning with the international IP ecosystem more than ever before, positioning the economy as a promising global innovation hub."

Mr. Gurry’s session was moderated by Mr. Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center, US Chamber of Commerce and included panelists Mr. Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, India; Ms. Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation and Chief Economist, United Kingdom; Mr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Lockheed Martin, USA. Panelists examined the economic underpinnings that enable breakthrough innovation and explored how policymakers can harness innovation capital in India and around the globe through research, advocacy, partnerships, and programs.

During the Conference, the United States Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) launched its “Fair Value for Innovation” initiative. The initiative seeks to build a coalition of stakeholders to share the story of innovation and creativity from idea to market, while highlighting public policy prescriptions that can incentivize transformative innovation for generations, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

In Mumbai, Mr. Gurry spoke at the inaugural session of the Confederation of Indian Industry's annual flagship international event, The Partnership Summit, organized in collaboration with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India and the Host State Government of Maharashtra.

WIPO Director General speaks at Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit (Photo: CII, India)

India's Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, India's Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, Republic of Korea Minister of Trade Kim Hyun Chong, United Arab Emirates Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori also spoke at the inaugural session.

Mr. Gurry welcomed India's strong engagement in the international intellectual property system and said it was poised to play a greater leadership role in future international discussions on the many policy issues that will arise in respect of data.

Mr. Gurry said: "Innovation is the basis of competition and we see that competition played out across all the components of the innovation system. Intellectual property is one such component. It is a necessary but not a sufficient component of a very robust innovation ecosystem."

He further noted “a very interesting feature of that increased demand has been the geographical and geopolitical shift in the composition of the demand. Two thirds of those intellectual property applications worldwide are now coming out of Asia and this is a remarkable transformation that has occurred in the course of, in particular, the last ten years.”

This, he said, means that competition has intensified. “Competition has become truly multipolar in the field of innovation. Intellectual property plays the extremely important role of securing the competitive advantage that is conferred by an innovative product or service."

The Director General welcomed India’s long-standing engagement in the international IP system, which he said has only grown in recent years.

Mr. Gurry reiterated this message in a meeting with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, who stressed India's commitment to promotion and protection of intellectual property.

During the meeting, Mr. Gurry briefed the Minister on key initiatives at WIPO and expressed his deep appreciation for India’s strong engagement with WIPO. The meeting also reviewed WIPO-India cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

WIPO Director General Meets India's Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu (Photo: CII, India)

On the sidelines of the CII Partnership Summit, Mr. Gurry also met with Chief Executive Officer Indu Bhushan of the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission (ABNHPM). Their discussions included Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious healthcare scheme that is revolutionizing the health and insurance sector in India, bringing free health care to hundreds of thousands of people. In the meeting, Mr. Gurry congratulated Mr. Bhushan on the success of the initiative and underlined the importance of innovation in the health care sector.