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Powering innovation ecosystems through the International Patent Drafting Program

December 10, 2021

Inventors have the potential to transform our lives. Equipped with a well-crafted patent, they can pursue an advantageous path to the market. But without one, innovators can face stiff competition from better resourced players who can execute their same idea without investing in it. Unfortunately, there is still a majority of inventors who do not have access to professionals that can translate their ideas into valuable assets.

Without these skilled professionals to count on, inventors face an insurmountable hurdle to protect their ideas. Some seek help from abroad, though this step is unaffordable for most inventors and small business, while others try getting an asset on their own; or simply forgo protection all together. The disadvantages for these inventors are palpable, especially when it comes to getting traction in the global market.

A well-functioning innovation ecosystem starts with experts who can translate the ideas of local inventors into commercially relevant patents. Which is why growing the local profession can be the deciding factor between innovation flourishing or floundering in a country. Yet building these skills is not easy. Patent professionals need a combination of legal and technical knowledge. Beyond that, the most successful practitioners have a good grasp of the context where the invention will be deployed. The most valuable patents anticipate different ways to implement an invention and consider how different parties may manufacture or interact with it.

Developing these skills requires practice and mentorship. WIPO designed its International Patent Drafting Training Program (IPDTP) to do just that. The Program, which launches in 2022, delivers a hands-on learning experience for emerging patent professionals, where participants learn the mechanics of patent drafting and put it into practice over eight months. Personalized feedback from experienced mentors is central to the Program. Participants will be awarded a WIPO Certificate upon successful completion of the training Program.

The IPDTP builds on WIPO’s extensive expertise in the field. Since 2010, WIPO has delivered patent drafting workshops with the objective of supporting the creation of a critical mass of drafting professionals around the world. WIPO’s workshops on patent drafting have trained over 1000 people in 60 countries. WIPO’s expertise is this area is complemented by its partner in the program, the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI). With a membership of IP attorneys from more than 80 countries, FICPI regularly conducts educational patent drafting programs in Asia, Europe and South America, with excellent results. The IPDTP builds on their experience and their deep bench of experienced instructors.

The Program incorporates the vast international experience from both WIPO and FICPI. Few successful inventions will be sold or protected in a single country. To get the maximum value from protection for their clients, drafters need a solid grasp of how patent regimes vary from region to region. The IPDTP puts this imperative at the heart of the Program. Participants will be exposed to different practices, and receive guidance to draft applications that work in multiple markets. The Program also lets applicants work on applications within their area of technical expertise.

Beyond training participants to draft quality patents, the IPDTP is designed to expand the network of participating practitioners. The Program will select individuals from a range of countries and experiences, all connected by a shared passion to support inventors. Building a global community, emerging professionals can exchange their ideas and build stronger patent applications to support local inventors.

Registration for the inaugural session is open until January 31, 2022.