ACE Update: 9th Session Serves as a "Marketplace of Ideas" to Build Respect for IP

March 7, 2014

The 9th session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) concluded a three-day meeting on March 5, 2014, with rich and engaging discussions on experiences in the field of building respect for intellectual property (IP).

The Committee heard 22 expert presentations relating to the ACE work program:

  1. "Practices and operation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems in IP areas"; and
  2. "Preventive actions, measures or successful experiences to complement ongoing enforcement measures with a view to reducing the size of the market for pirated or counterfeited goods".

Under the ADR item, a background paper was presented on ADR as a tool for IP enforcement, followed by presentations on national and industry experiences from all regions of the world, and the activities of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.

ACE delegates in session
The ACE was attended by around 170 participants representing 72 member states and 18 observers. (Photo: WIPO)

Under the preventive actions item, experts from government and industry shared experiences covering a broad spectrum of preventive measures, ranging from awareness-raising, new business models, supply chain security, to initiatives specific to the online environment. Vibrant exchanges took place among participating delegations over the three days. All working documents are available on the ACE webpage.

For the first time, an "Exhibition on Preventive Actions or Successful Experiences to Complement Ongoing Enforcement Measures" was organized, with the aim of enhancing ACE discussions. Nine member states and a regional organization presented their national and regional awareness-raising activities.

Prevention better than cure

In his opening remarks to the ACE, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, noted the role ADR can play in building respect for IP, as court agendas get fuller, in particular bearing in mind that ADR provides access to specialist expertise. In relation to preventive actions to complement operational enforcement, he noted that prevention is better than cure, acknowledging the various practices of member states.

In terms of appointments, the Committee elected Ambassador Thomas Fitschen, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Germany, as Chair; and Ms. Ekaterine Egutia, Deputy Chair of the National Intellectual Property Center (SAKPATENTI) of Georgia, and Mr. Wojciech Piatkowski, First Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Poland as Vice-Chairs.

In his opening remarks, the Chair stated that all member states had to consider how they can implement a system of IP protection, in ways that respond to the practical needs of their societies and reflect realities in the respective countries – this being a process, rather than a one-time event.

WIPO exhibition on preventive actions or successful experiences to complement ongoing enforcement measures. (Photo: WIPO)

He emphasized that, as member states and stakeholder groups endeavor to protect the creative and innovative fabrics of their societies through IP, the ACE could play a significant role in providing a forum to share experiences and lessons learned on how to enhance national capacities and to deal with challenges, including with other stakeholders, such as the private sector. The Chair expressed the hope that the ACE might become a “market place of ideas”, where everyone will find at least one good idea to take home and reflect upon.

The ACE was attended by around 170 participants representing 72 member states and 18 observers.

The Committee agreed to continue, at its tenth session, with the current work program. The future work proposals submitted will remain on the table for future consideration.