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Committee on WIPO Standards Approves New Standards for Digital Age, Revises Others

December 9, 2020

The Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) approved four new standards and revised three others during its work the week of November 30, 2020. In opening the Nov. 30 - Dec. 4 session, WIPO Director General Daren Tang highlighted that WIPO Standards are at the heart of digital transformations happening at IP Offices around the world.

  • Opening remarks PDF, Opening remarks SCT/43

Despite the restrictions of working in a virtual format, the Committee adopted four new WIPO Standards reflecting the demands of the digital era.  They cover topics such as Web APIs for automated processing and exchange of IP data; management of motion and multimedia marks; trademark legal status data; and management of visual representations of industrial designs. 

Video of all the sessions is available on the WIPO Webcasting portal.

New Standards

The four new WIPO Standards will be published shortly on the WIPO website: 

  • WIPO Standard ST.90 on Web Application Programming Interface (API) (CWS/8/2) provides recommendations to facilitate the processing and exchange of intellectual property data via machine-to-machine communication over the web. This promotes consistency by establishing uniform web service design principles and interoperability among web service partners in the IP community.
  • WIPO Standard ST.69 on multimedia marks (CWS/8/3) provides recommendations on applications for the protection of motion and multimedia marks. It helps applicants and IP Offices agree on common multimedia formats and practices for handling and publishing multimedia files.
  • WIPO Standard ST.61 on trademark legal status data (CWS/8/4) provides recommendations to improve worldwide availability, reliability and comparability of legal status data for trademarks across jurisdictions, including the Madrid System. Once implemented, IP information users, IP Offices, IP data providers, the general public and others will benefit from easier access to data on trademark filings and registrations. Its approval completes the set of three legal status standards for the major types of industrial property: patents (WIPO ST.27), industrial designs (WIPO ST.87) and trademarks (this new standard, WIPO ST.61).
  • WIPO Standard ST.88 on electronic representations of industrial designs (CWS/8/5) provides recommendations on how to create, store, display, manage, publish, and exchange electronic images and videos of industrial designs. The standard helps applicants and IP Offices agree on common formats to simplify filing the same design at multiple Offices.  It also provides common guidelines for IP Offices to exchange data, publish, and enhance automated search of images and video for designs.

Revised Standards

Three Standards were revised during the meeting.  Standard ST.27 for patent legal status data helps IP Offices and users exchange information about the status of patents and applications.  ST.26 helps applicants prepare nucleotide and amino acid sequence listings in a common XML format.  And ST.37 provides a format for authority files of published patent documents, so IP Offices and others can validate the coverage of their document collections.

Of particular significance are the revisions to WIPO ST.26 for sequence listings at this session, which will impact patent applications with sequence listings in the PCT System and around the world. The implementation will take global effect on January 1, 2022, on national, international and regional levels, as agreed by Member States. The International Bureau would like to highlight the importance of the few remaining months to prepare for the big bang transition in 2022 from WIPO ST.25 to ST.26. Timely implementation by all Offices is essential for a smooth and successful transition. 

To support this implementation, the International Bureau is further improving its software application for applicants and IP Offices, called WIPO Sequence, which has been developed in close collaboration with IP Offices and end users.  The first version of WIPO Sequence was released in November 2020 for trial by applicants and IP Offices.  The International Bureau is improving the tool with new features in the revised WIPO ST.26 and other improvements.