The following package outlines WIPO’s suite of support measures to assist Member States in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as laying the foundations for post COVID economic recovery efforts. It comprises five main areas: policy and legislative assistance; technical assistance and capacity building; innovation support and technology transfer; IP dispute resolution; and knowledge resources
Member States seeking more information or wishing to tap on these forms of unilateral support should contact Mr. Sherif Saadallah, Executive Director of the WIPO Academy and Focal Point on WIPO’s Package of COVID-19 support.
Legislative and Policy Advice relating to IP, innovation and creativity
WIPO has decades of experience in providing advice to Member States on the drafting of IP laws as well as in the building of innovation and creative ecosystems. We will draw on this to provide advice to Member States on specific or systemic measures that will help them to address the pandemic, as well as build back better. Some examples of assistance in the past include the implementation of flexibilities contained in the international treaties. Other examples include the building of tech transfer and/or IP licensing capabilities.
Such advisory support is strictly bilateral and confidential, and will be tailor made to suit each Member State’s unique circumstances and needs.
Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building
WIPO National IP Training Institutions (IPTIs) will scale up COVID-related training and education programs. Areas of focus include: IP and Access to Medicines, IP and Medical Innovation (with focus on COVID-related medical innovation) and IP as an open collaboration tool to address COVID. The Academy will assist the IPTIs to provide training courses focused on post-COVID economic recovery through innovation and creativity.
WIPO’s Distance Learning and Professional Development Courses provide an accessible way for Member States, communities and individuals, to build their IP knowledge and skills. Customized versions of the courses also offer country specific IP learning. WIPO’s professional development courses focus on building IP skills for government officials to support innovation and creativity. Distance learning courses of particular relevance include:
WIPO – WHO – WTO Intensified Cooperation
As part of our enhanced cooperation to support Member States in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the WIPO, WHO and WTO will jointly offer a series of practical, capacity-building workshops. These have two overarching objectives: to enhance the flow of information as the pandemic evolves and to strengthen the capacity of Member States to address the pandemic via equitable access to COVID-19 health technologies. The first workshop on technology transfer and licensing is planned to take place in the second half of September 2021.
The Trilateral Cooperation is also discussing how to step up efforts for tripartite technical assistance to Member States, through the provision of a one-stop shop that will make available the full expertise on access, IP and trade matters of all three agencies. More details will be provided in due course.
IP and Health/Life Sciences
Executive Course on Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation
Executive Course on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources in the Life Sciences
Leadership Course on Intellectual Property and the Life Sciences for Participants in the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Program
Specialization Course on the Essentials of Patents
eTutorial on Using Patent Information
Advanced Course on Patent Information Search
Innovation Support and Technology Transfer
WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC)
Member States can tap on our expertise in building over 1,200 Technology and Innovation Support Centers in over 80 countries. These Centers provide innovators and researchers in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services that will help them better understand and use IP in the R&D and technology contexts. WIPO also provides a series of programs and training resources, including WIPO Distance Learning courses, to support the building of IP expertise and capabilities within these TISCs.
IP Dispute Resolution
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO AMC)
Some 15% of mediation and arbitration cases filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO AMC) are connected to the biosciences, medical devices and chemical industries. These disputes do not just involve large companies, but also SMEs and start-ups. The WIPO AMC has just announced that it will reduce its fees by 25% when any enterprise with less than 250 employees is involved in a dispute, so that start-ups and SMEs can have better access to such services.
In addition, the AMC is preparing to launch two new services in the last quarter of the year:
Tailored WIPO Mediation Agreements: to facilitate contract negotiation or the resolution of contract performance disputes.
WIPO Dispute Resolution Board: to determine contract performance disputes as they arise in long-term life science collaborations.
WIPO tracks and provides information on measures adopted by IP offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information connected to deadlines, legislative responses and other regulatory measures.
The Database on Flexibilities in the IP System contains data drawn from WIPO documents on Patent Related Flexibilities in the Multilateral Legal Framework and their Legislative Implementation at the National and Regional Levels. It allows searches for implementation of flexibilities in national IP laws in selected jurisdictions.
The Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED) provides easy access to medicine patent information to the global health community, particularly those involved in procurement of medicines. As of June 2021, the database contained 236 International Non Proprietary Name (INN) sets, and 21,029 patents in 653 patent families.
Patent Landscape Reports are a way of using patent information and data to gather and share insights on technology developments. WIPO has supported the WHO and local vaccine manufacturing discussions with its PLR on vaccines; licensing and public procurement discussions; and decisions of the Medicines Patent Pool related to antirotrevirals (ritonavir and Atazanavir). WIPO is currently preparing a PLR relating to vaccines and therapeutic agents specifically targeting COVID-19 and hopes to release it just ahead of this year’s General Assemblies. WIPO has also collected publicly available PLRs and has put together a searchable compilation.