WIPO Member States End Assemblies with Key Agreements on Future Work

Geneva, October 11, 2017

WIPO member states concluded their annual Assemblies meetings with key agreements that affirm the work of the Organization in advancing an effective and balanced intellectual property system.

In closing remarks to the October 2-11 Assemblies meetings, Director General Francis Gurry welcomed the spirt of engagement by member states, saying: “I think that the results have been very positive. You, the member states, have given us, the Secretariat, the basis for going forward with the work of the organization. And I thank you for that confidence.”

“It’s true that the discussions are becoming more and more intense in the field of intellectual property, but there is a very positive side to that, which is the growing interest in the field of intellectual property and innovation and creativity,” he said.

The membership agreed on a program and budget for the 2018-2019 biennium that foresees a 10.9% increase in revenue from growing demand for WIPO’s global IP-filing and other services, without an increase in user fees. Spending growth will be contained at 2.7% and no new staff posts are planned.

As part of the program and budget for the 2018/19 biennium, member states approved special funding for capital investments to ensure that WIPO is able to carry out its mandate, with a particular emphasis on strengthening information and communication technology.

Member states also agreed to consider opening up to four external offices for 2018/2019, including in Colombia, expanding the organization’s network of overseas offices.

In addition, member states agreed on a renewed two-year mandate for negotiations on intellectual property and traditional knowledge, folklore and genetic resources, as well as the work plan for the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore for the biennium.

Closing the session, the Chair of the General Assembly, Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš, who is also the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, thanked delegates.

In opening the Assemblies on October 2, Mr. Gurry issued a written report on WIPO’s achievements in the previous year and, in an opening address to delegates, sketched out some possible future paths for the organization.

During the Assemblies, Indonesia joined the international trademark system as its 100th member, while Nigeria joined four copyright-related treaties, among other activities.

WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry, represented by the IFPMA, launched a new partnership to promote the accessibility of patent information for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.

Delegates enjoyed a series of symposia, exhibits and performances sponsored by member states during the WIPO Assemblies, including the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, Mexico and Paraguay.

Wrap-up of main decisions

Member states, in their respective Assemblies and other bodies (following agenda order):

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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