ACE: Commitment to Building Respect for IP at 10th Session

November 26, 2015

The 10th session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE) concluded a three-day meeting on November 25, 2015, with rich and engaging discussions on experiences in the field of building respect for intellectual property (IP).

Video: WIPO DG’s opening remarks Video

The ACE was opened by  WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, who noted the growing importance of intangibles in the global economy and observed that the Committee's work was extremely important in raising awareness of the economic value and the social significance of IP. He noted with pleasure the enthusiasm demonstrated on the part of member states in finding practical approaches to the pervasive question of building respect for IP.

Global attendance

Participants at the 10th session of the ACE
ACE participants in discussions (Photo: WIPO).

The ACE was attended by around 160 participants representing 65 member states and 18 observers. The Committee heard 31 expert presentations relating to the ACE work program, which comprised two broad topics:

  • "Practices and operation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems in IP areas"; and
  • "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".

On the first topic, the different ADR systems were explored, including mediation services offered by IP offices, the fast-track ADR procedure adopted at Palexpo Trade Fairs in Geneva and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

On the second topic, presentations from many countries illustrated the imaginative measures being taken in awareness raising, education and the prevention of online infringement. WIPO’s educational materials on respect for copyright, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, were presented. Voluntary mechanisms, such as codes of conduct, for reducing infringement were discussed, and information was exchanged on national strategies and coordination measures on enforcement.

Globalization and sharing of experiences

Ms. Amanda Lotheringen, Senior Manager, Copyright and IP Enforcement, Companies and IP Commission (CIPC), Ministry of Trade and Industry, South Africa, was elected as Chair; Mr. Grega Kumer, Senior IP Adviser, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, and Mr. Igor Moldovan, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva were elected as Vice-Chairs.

In her opening remarks, the Chair stated that with the globalization of the IP value chain it was now more important than ever for countries to share experiences and lessons learned. Doing so could enhance national capacities to deal with challenges and spur on work towards the goal of creating an enabling environment in which IP can fulfil its role as a force for innovation and creativity.

Side events

Alongside the ACE, an exhibition was organized on the subject of public communication campaigns on respect for IP and awareness tools for young people.

Exhibition on outreach and building respect for IP
Outreach materials on display (Photo: WIPO).
Exhibition on outreach and building respect for IP
Exhibitors discuss the materials on display (Photo: WIPO).

Eight member states provided exhibition materials demonstrating their creative and diverse outreach activities. In addition, a side event was held on WIPO’s capacity building activities to build respect for IP, at which the honourable Judge Louis Harms, formerly Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa, shared his thoughts on the nature of capacity building in the field of IP, based on his experience as a WIPO expert speaker. He identified the importance of balanced enforcement of IP in the interests of societal interests, in accordance with Recommendation 45 of the WIPO Development Agenda.

Future work

The Committee discussed the work program for the ACE and decided that at its eleventh session the Committee would exchange information on national experiences on four topics:

  • Exchange of information on national experiences on awareness building activities and strategic campaigns as a means for building respect for IP among general public, especially the youth, in accordance with Member States’ educational or any other priorities.
  • Exchange of information on national experiences relating to institutional arrangements concerning IP enforcement policies and regimes, including mechanism to resolve IP disputes in a balanced holistic and effective manner.
  • Exchange of information on national experiences in respect of WIPO’s legislative assistance, with a focus on drafting national laws of enforcement that take into account the flexibilities, the level of development, the difference in legal tradition and the possible abuse of enforcement procedures, bearing in mind the broader societal interest and in accordance with Member States’ priorities.
  • Exchange of success stories on capacity building and support from WIPO for training activities at national and regional levels for Agencies and national officials in line with relevant Development Agenda Recommendations and the ACE mandate.

Useful documents

All working documents are available on the ACE webpage.