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

WIPO PROOF: WIPO Introduces New Business Service That Provides Evidence of an Intellectual Asset's Existence

Geneva, May 27, 2020
PR/2020/855

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today launched a new online business service, WIPO PROOF, that provides tamper-proof evidence of the existence at a point in time of any digital file, including data sets, in any format.

WIPO PROOF complements the Organization’s existing intellectual property (IP) systems by helping innovators and creators take verifiable actions to safeguard the many outputs of their work on the journey from concept to development to commercialization.

Innovative and creative activities in today’s increasingly digitized world are often global and collaborative, producing a vast array of data files containing valuable content that can easily fall prey to misuse or misappropriation. This content can range from trade secrets to scripts, musical scores and other creative works, to research results, large data sets, artificial intelligence algorithms, or any business record.

In a video, Director General Francis Gurry launches WIPO’s latest online service for innovators and creators, WIPO PROOF.

All of these should be treated as intellectual assets and be independently and securely documented at every stage of development, regardless of whether they eventually become formal IP rights. WIPO PROOF provides an efficient tool for creating evidence of the existence of an asset's digital files at each specific point in time, helping mitigate the risk of future legal disputes, as well as laying a foundation for any eventual registration of a formal IP right.

(Image: WIPO)

In a highly dynamic global economy where value is increasingly based on human activity enabled by digital technologies and big data, it is critical to be able to prove that you were in possession of your intellectual asset's digital files. WIPO PROOF helps innovators and creators better protect their digital outputs and represents a significant step in expanding WIPO’s suite of services that meet the demands of the digital economy.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry

By creating a date- and time-stamped fingerprint of a digital file, WIPO PROOF provides a sort of digital notary service, offering a trusted, cost-effective and efficient service worldwide. WIPO PROOF joins WIPO's market-leading IP services for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and arbitration and mediation.

About WIPO PROOF

WIPO PROOF is an easy-to-use global, online service that rapidly generates tamper-proof evidence proving that a digital file existed at a specific point in time, and that it has not been altered since that time. The service creates a WIPO PROOF token, a date- and time-stamped digital fingerprint of the file or data, which can be used as evidence in a legal dispute. WIPO PROOF tokens can be purchased one at a time for a modest fee, or in bundles of multiple tokens at reduced rates valid during a two year period.

WIPO PROOF tokens can be used to establish prior existence, helping prevent misuse and misappropriation, and can be useful in safeguarding intellectual assets at every stage of development from concept to commercialization, whether or not they eventually become formal IP rights. WIPO PROOF complements WIPO's existing IP systems, providing another tool for the strategic global management of intellectual assets.

WIPO PROOF's many applications include the following: For trade secret strategies, using WIPO PROOF to certify the existence of a file or data at a specific point in time is a type of concrete action that underscores its value and demonstrates that steps were taken to safeguard it. For creative works, the ability to prove their existence at the time of creation is fundamental to safeguarding them from potential misappropriation or infringement.  

WIPO PROOF is also useful in managing valuable data sets such as scientific research data or data for training AI models, because the existence and possession of each iteration of a data set can be formally documented in a matter of seconds.

How does WIPO PROOF work?

Anyone can access WIPO PROOF’s secure online website to request a WIPO PROOF token for a specific digital file. WIPO does not read the file’s contents or store a copy of it. WIPO PROOF’s secure, one-way algorithm interacts locally with the requestor’s browser to create a unique digital fingerprint of the file. Additionally, anyone - even third parties - can validate WIPO PROOF tokens on the website by following a few easy steps.

WIPO PROOF uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to generate WIPO PROOF tokens. PKI technology is a well-established and reliable cryptographic technology that is one of the most internationally accepted and recognized digital certification methods. Additionally, WIPO PROOF has been designed and developed according to eIDAS standards which are among the most robust and stringent in the world. WIPO PROOF tokens deliver the highest level of certainty that the date and time on the token is exact and has not been tampered with.

WIPO PROOF provides reliable and verifiable evidence in case of disputes and litigation over the existence and integrity of the digital file and its related IP rights.

Download

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:
  • Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61 / 338 72 24
  • E-mail