Assemblies Spotlight 2018

Multilateralism in action: Decisions taken by member state delegates at the WIPO Assemblies bolster the global intellectual property (IP) framework, the future of innovation and WIPO’s role in promoting the economic, social and cultural development of all countries.

Joined by industry groups and civil society members from around the world, negotiators at the meetings debate a full agenda containing issues that shape our modern global economy.

The 2018 Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO, held September 24 – October 2 at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva, will consider a range of action items and feature high-level negotiations on the norms that underpin the IP rights that are increasingly critical components of global business and trade.

Those normative issues under consideration relate to the entire range of IP rights, touching on the future of copyright and related rights, patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications. Delegates will also reflect on issues relating to global development.

In addition, matters concerning the convening of a Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of a Design Law Treaty, and discussions on IP and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore  among other issues, are on the agenda. Delegates will also consider the opening of new WIPO external offices.

At the heart of WIPO’s operations are the global IP services it administers – systems based in WIPO’s 26 treaties that help innovators and creators protect and promote their products around the world.

Delegates will review the operations and consider future work of the International Patent System, the International Trademark System, the International Design System, the International System of Appellations of Origin and the Arbitration and Mediation Center, among other business.

Some 1,000 delegates from WIPO’s 191 member states are expected to attend the 2018 Assemblies. This multilateral work in Geneva represents the best of international cooperation – coming together to make IP work for everyone.

Video: The WIPO Assemblies by the numbers.


WIPO Assemblies Close, Marked by Robust Growth in Treaty Accessions, Guidance on Future Work

The WIPO Assemblies meetings ended with robust growth in countries adhering to the treaties that underpin the global intellectual property (IP) system, signaling the strength of multilateral engagement by the membership, while delegates agreed new guidance on WIPO’s future work.


WIPO and EBU Welcome EU Ratfication of Marrakesh Treaty

Director General Francis Gurry and European Blind Union Vice President Bárbara Martin welcome the accession of the European Union to the Marrakesh Treaty which greatly expands geographical coverage of the agreement.

Japan Joins Marrakesh Treaty

WIPO Director General received the instrument of accession of Japan to the Marrakesh Treaty, bringing the number of countries covered by the agreement to 71.

European Union Joins WIPO’s Marrakesh Treaty, Greatly Expanding Coverage

The European Union has joined the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled in a big expansion in membership for the accord, which eases the creation and transfer across national boundaries of texts specially adapted for use by visually impaired people. The Treaty will enter into force for the EU on January 1, 2018.

Côte d’Ivoire Joins Geneva Act on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

Côte d’Ivoire became the second country to join to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications when Karim Silue, Counselor Chargée d’Affaire a.i., Permanent Mission of Côte d’Ivoire to the United Nations in Geneva and other International Organizations deposited on September 28, 2018 his country’s instrument of accession with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. The Geneva Act will enter into force after five eligible parties accede or ratify the Act. Côte d’Ivoire is the second country to join the Geneva Act.

Peru Joins Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks

In a major step for its trademarks holders, Peru joined the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks which created a modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonization of administrative trademark registration procedures.

Peru Joins Beijing Treaty

Peru became the 21st country to join the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances when it presented its instrument of ratification to the Director General of WIPO. Thirty contracting parties are needed for the Treaty to enter into force. The Beijing Treaty brings audiovisual performers into the fold of the international copyright framework in a comprehensive way.

Republic of Korea’s “Pororo” Cartoon Character Learns Arabic

The Republic of Korea has created an Arabic-language version of its “Getting Creative with Pororo” cartoon, featuring the popular character in a series that educates children about the importance of innovation and creativity. The new language version was unveiled September 25, 2018, on the sidelines of the 2018 WIPO Assemblies by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Kim Tae Man, Acting Commissioner, Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

India Joins WIPO’s "Internet Treaties"

India’s Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion deposited his country’s instruments of accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty - known together as the "Internet Treaties". India’s accession brings the total number of contracting parties to the "Internet Treaties" to 97.

Malawi Joins International Trademark System

Malawi's Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks and hailed a new era for trademark owners seeking international protection for their marks. With Malawi’s accession, the International Trademark System numbers 102 contracting parties, covering 118 countries. Find out more...

WIPO and IFPMA Launch New Online Patent-Search Resource to Help Health Agencies Procure Medicines (press release)

WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry today launched a new online tool designed to help procurement agencies better understand the global patent status of medicines.

(Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

WIPO Assemblies 2018 Open: Director General Francis Gurry Underlines Positive Results, Calls for Action on New Technologies (press release)

Rapid technological change is driving demand for intellectual property rights and growth in WIPO’s global intellectual property (IP) systems, while IP is increasingly important in policy making and international trade, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in opening the 2018 WIPO Assemblies.

(Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

Report of the Director General to the WIPO Assemblies

This report is a presentation of the work accomplished by the Organization during the year that has passed since the last meeting of the WIPO Assemblies.

Director General's opening address

"It is a great pleasure for me to join the Chair of the WIPO General Assembly in extending a warm welcome to all delegations to the 2018 Assemblies. It is very gratifying to see such a large participation, a sign of the very active engagement in, and support for, the Organization on the part of so many Member States."

(Photo: WIPO)


(Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

WIPO Re:Search: Innovation for Health

A WIPO Re:Search panel explored the need for collaborative innovation to tackle neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis.

(Photo: WIPO)

ADR for IP and Copyright Offices

The WIPO Center met with member state officials for a discussion on Alternative Dispute Resolution for IP Offices and Copyright Offices.

(Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

How to Address Gender Inequalities in Creative Industries?

A side-event on “Empowering Women in the Creative Industries” that drew large attendance highlighted gender inequalities in the creative industries and offered thoughts on remedies.

(Photo: WIPO/Martin)

WIPO External Offices Brief Assemblies Participants

Assemblies participants heard presentations on recent work by WIPO’s external offices in:

  • Brazil pdf
  • China pdf
  • Japan pdf
  • Russia  pdf
  • Singapore pdf


Polish Innovation, Industrial Designs on Display

Poland showcased home-grown inventions and industrial designs at its "PolandIN."

Baltic States Celebrate with Cultural Display at WIPO

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania celebrated 100 years of independence with the exposition “The Baltic States Centenary: Creativity and Innovation Inspired by Nature”.

Africa Japan Night at WIPO

WIPO and the Government of Japan co-organized an event “Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Japan Funds-in-Trust for Africa & Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”, showcasing original kimonos by Cameroonian artist Serge Mouangue and Japanese designers. The event also featured musical performances by Japanese and African musicians.

Cultural Convergence From CACEEC Countries

The “Cultural Convergence: Unity in Diversity” exposition highlights traditions, products and technologies from the Caucasian, Central Asian and Eastern European (CACEEC) region, which include Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The exposition was inaugurated September 26, 2018, by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and Natalia Pan, Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, during the 2018 WIPO Assemblies.

Moldova Showcases Award-Winning Designs

Moldova organized an event on the margins of the WIPO Assemblies to promote the culture and creative spirit of the country. The “Moldova – designing lifestyle” exhibition showcased many award-winning designs by cutting-edge Moldovan designers.

Portugal: Geographical Indications, Douro Region and Port Wine

Portugal organized a discussion forum marking the 60th anniversary of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, touching on the history of the wine-making Douro region and one of its most-famous products, port wine. WIPO Director General opened the session with Anabela Pedroso, Secretary of State for Justice of Portugal, on September 26 during the 2018 WIPO Assemblies.

Innovation, Art and IP in the UAE

WIPO and the Government of the United Arab Emirates organized an event on “Innovation Art and Intellectual Property in the United Arab Emirates”, featuring the country’s handicrafts, music, artwork and inventions. The exhibition showcased the UAE’s rich cultural heritage.

Argentina and Innovation Event

WIPO and the Government of Argentina organized the event “Argentina: Fueling Growth through Innovation,” which showcased the innovation and creativity of Argentinian people. An accompanying exhibition featured recent innovations in sectors such as energy, healthcare, agribusiness and telecommunications.

Peru's IP System Supports Economic Growth

At an event at WIPO, Peru showed the IP community how its IP system - specifically appellations of origin and collective marks - improves the quality of life of rural communities, local producers and small and medium enterprises.

Croatia, Art and Visually Impaired People

Croatia showcased a homegrown, multisensory process using tactile plates and auditory supports that helps visually impaired persons “see” artwork, while sensitizing others to how people living with limited visibility experience their world.



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