Building a Community to Translate Innovation Into Growth

September 5, 2022

Creativity lives everywhere. Who will translate it into the jobs and prosperity? The world needs people who can see an idea, imagine how it will develop, and protect its potential. Skilled professionals, who can transform ingenuity into patent assets, play an integral role in realizing the potential of a knowledge-driven economy.

Photo: WIPO/Berrod

WIPO designed its International Patent Drafting Training Program (IPDTP) with twin goals to fuel an innovation-powered future.  It develops skills of emerging patent drafters while building a supportive community to help these professionals grow.  The inaugural class, made up participants from 26 countries, started the process to realize these objectives.  After completing a distance learning segment on the basics of patent drafting, participants met in Geneva to sharpen their skills.

Photo: WIPO/Berrod

Over the course of one week, participants focused on drafting claims that maximize value for their clients.  As Anneta Smyrniotou, Senior IP Specialist in Greece described the experience, the course delivered “a lot of practical knowledge that is not given in textbooks or guidelines.”  It “provides a unique opportunity to improve drafting skills and knowledge by working closely with top experts in the field,” said Emily Elhacham, Environmental Interdisciplinary Researcher from Israel.

A number of participants attended with support of scholarships from Funds-In-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global and WIPO.

Learning through practice and from each other

Participants learn from a top-notch group of instructors who have been teaching patent drafting programs at WIPO and the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI) for more than a decade. More than 1500 participants in 60 countries have benefited from their combined know-how.  These experienced patent professionals are not the only teachers.  A lot of the teaching comes from the participants themselves. 

“The workshops are eye-opening,” explained Mona Thoweek, Senior IP and Business Development Specialist attending from Qatar.  “You kind of learn a lot of information, not just from the instructors and the content, but also from the people around you.  I can't emphasize enough the breadth and the diversity and the learning experiences from that.”  Ojeswini Bondalapati, a patent agent from India shared, “we are working in a group and have at least 3 or 4 different perspectives of how team members are thinking differently from each other.” For Ms. Bondalapati says its changed the way she thinks about drafting, “It’s really helping me to polish my language, especially claim language.”

Photo: WIPO/Ortiz Guzman

The emphasis on group work plays an important role in both improving skills.  According to Indre Jackune, an IP Attorney from Lithuania “The teamwork approach is completely different to what is usually taught in drafting trainings. This really helps to develop skills to work with inventors to see different perspective of how the different features of the inventions can be interpreted.”

Creating a professional community

Photo: WIPO/Berrod

It also builds bonds between these emerging professionals.  Creating a community is an important driver behind the program.  Many of the participants are one of a handful, or the only person in their country focused on drafting patent applications.  WIPO’s International Patent Drafting Training Program gives these pioneers a chance to grow their network.  This helps identify peers that participants can share ideas and develop further.

They continued working and growing their local innovation ecosystems.  “I learned a lot which I am sharing now with my students and colleagues,” said Gerard Kevin Catagan, IP and Patent Specialist from the Philippines. “I am pleased to share the knowledge I gained in phases 1 and 2”, said Sara Graiz, IP Manager from Jordan, “to develop and support the innovation ecosystem in our region.”

Looking ahead to the Mentorship Phase

The Program now enters the mentoring phase.  Over the next several months, participants work and receive feedback on different drafting exercises.  This includes exercises that are geared towards specific technical areas. This will be the last phase before obtaining the Certificate after successfully passing the Final Evaluation.

A second edition of the IPDTP is planned for 2023, with registration opening late fall 2022.

Visit WIPO’s International Patent Drafting Training Program website to learn more.