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

WIPO Launches Tool to Track IP Policy Information in Member States during COVID-19 Pandemic

Geneva, May 5, 2020
PR/2020/853

WIPO today launched a new tool that tracks COVID-19 related intellectual property (IP) policy changes or other measures being implemented by WIPO member states in their response to the global pandemic. This is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Organization in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker is an information repository that will help all stakeholders navigate changes implemented by the worldwide IP community as it adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

With our mandate to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system, it is natural for WIPO to take the lead in making available such a tool that promotes the widest-possible comprehension of important IP policy and other measures as they arise.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry

Many national and regional IP offices are implementing measures to assist applicants and owners of IP rights, for example by providing extensions of time or grace periods for fee payments.

In addition, a number of member states have or are considering special measures such as compulsory licenses, should potentially relevant products and technologies be identified. Many in the private sector are implementing voluntary measures to assist and a multitude of technology and projects are ongoing.

With an initial group of a dozen countries, the COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker will be updated regularly. It is freely accessible through a database interface.

WIPO's COVID-19 response

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, WIPO's operations have continued at near-full capacity even as staff move to remote work. To help the public understand the effects of the pandemic on WIPO’s operations, the Organization unveiled a new dashboard that allows member state representatives and other stakeholders to view the evolution of WIPO’s global IP services and its financial performance on a month‑by‑month basis.

The Organization has also launched a new search functionality for its global patent database, PATENTSCOPE, to facilitate the location and retrieval of information contained in published patent documents that may be useful for innovators developing new technologies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 24, Mr. Gurry issued a paper entitled "Some Considerations on Intellectual Property, Innovation, Access and COVID-19."

In an April 7 public broadcast, Mr. Gurry discussed WIPO's record-setting 2019 results for its IP services for patents, trademarks and industrial designs, and arbitration and mediation services, as well as treaty-ratification activity and financial results. Mr. Gurry also discussed COVID-19's likely impact on WIPO in 2020.

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.

For more information, please contact the News and Media Division at WIPO:
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