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

IAP Launches in Morocco

December 1, 2015

Following the successful launch of the  Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) earlier this year in Colombia, a second pilot project was launched on November 9, 2015 in Casablanca, Morocco. The project is expected to be fully operational early next year.

WIPO's Director General opens proceedings
Participants at the IAP launch event in Morocco. (Photo: WIPO)

Morocco already has an effective patent system, it is party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and has established a network of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs). Innovation takes place at both national and local levels, yet the number of patent applications made by residents remains relatively low. It is against this background that the IAP provides a promising opportunity for the country to improve support to its local talent and thus further benefit from its natural creative resources.

The official launch was announced by:

  • Mr. Adil El Maliki, Director General of the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office;
  • Mr. Tarafa Marouane, President of the Commission on Research & Development and Relations with Universities; and
  • Mr. Marco M. Alemán, Acting Director of the Patent Law Division on behalf of  WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry.

The launch ceremony was also attended by:

  • Mr. Andrew Czajkowski, Head of the Innovation and Technology Support Section, WIPO;
  • Ms. Silvia Magnoni, Head of Civil Society Communities, World Economic Forum; and
  • Mr. Corey Salsberg, Head of International IP Policies at Novartis and Member of the IAP Steering Committee.

Pre-launch seminar

The IAP launch was preceded by a seminar on Innovation and patents attended by nearly 100 participants. The seminar reviewed innovation trends in Morocco as reflected in the  Global Innovation Index 2015; the experiences of universities and R&D centers in using patents; and the role of  Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs) in promoting access to technological information and knowledge, as well as underlining the importance of using intellectual property rights to foster economic development.

More about the IAP

The IAP is a joint collaboration between WIPO and the  World Economic Forum (The Forum). It aims to assist both individuals and small entities in developing countries, which lack the financial resources to effectively use and exploit the patent system. It achieves this by matching financially under-resourced inventors with promising new technologies and ideas to qualified, pro bono IP attorneys. Once the match is made, the attorneys assist the budding inventors in securing patent protection for their inventions.