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

WIPO Update on Covid-19: IP Service Operations Continuing; Remote Work Prioritized

Geneva, March 16, 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today announced that it was reserving access to its Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters for personnel essential to the delivery of the Organization’s business continuity protocol, while reassuring that processing of applications filed via WIPO’s Global IP Services has not been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

By putting in place remote working arrangements for all but staff whose work is for now premises-dependent from Tuesday, March 17, WIPO is committed to aligning with fast-evolving medical guidance from Swiss and international health authorities.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry reiterated WIPO’s commitment to the health and safety of its personnel, as well as the communities where they live and work, as well as delivering the Organization’s member state-approved work plan.

“The World Intellectual Property Organization is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of its personnel, while implementing plans that allow us to continue to deliver our important work program,” said Mr. Gurry. “In these worrisome times, the entire WIPO workforce stands in solidarity with the global community as we work together to overcome Covid-19,” Mr. Gurry said.

So far, via the implementation of its business continuity plans, WIPO has been able to continue to process applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, as well as administer other IP and related systems, including the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.

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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