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

The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) is Going Global

September 19, 2016

Following a successful three-country pilot in 2015 and early 2016, the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) is expanding across the world.

During the first 18 months of the IAP’s life, 45 patent attorneys from participating countries applied as volunteers, and a dozen inventors have already successfully received pro bono assistance.  It is hoped that the number of pro-bono patent attorneys and inventors using such services will grow substantially in coming years.

Now, the Steering Committee that runs the IAP is drawing up a strategy to extend the program to more countries, drawing on the experience of the pilot.

IAP banner

Global launch event

In order to meet expectations and extend the advantages of the patent system to the maximum possible number of inventors from all around the world, the IAP will be launched globally.  To mark this occasion, an International Seminar on the Role of Pro Bono in Facilitating Access to the Patent System has been organized. 

Speakers include:

  • WIPO’s Director General, Mr. Francis Gurry;
  • former USPTO Director Mr. David Kappos;
  • Jimmy Reyna, a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit;
  • directors of the patent offices of IAP participating countries, Colombia, Morocco and the Philippines; and
  • representatives of the IAP sponsors: the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI), the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA), Novartis and Qualcomm.

The event will take place on Monday, October 17, 2016 at WIPO Headquarters, Room NB 0.107 from 1.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.  A reception will follow.

What is the IAP?

A joint initiative by WIPO and The World Economic Forum, the IAP has attracted a lot of international attention.  Inventors keen to access patent services that would otherwise be unaffordable; governments keen to support local innovation; patent attorneys eager to assist under-resourced creative people free of charge – they are all very interested in the Program.

Register for the Global Launch of the IAP

  • If you have received an invitation with a secure code, please register online.
  • If you have not received an invitation with a secure code, but would still like to take part please send an e-mail to iap@wipo.int