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Webinar on WIPO Blockchain White Paper for IP Ecosystems

September 28, 2021

Blockchain technology has the potential to make intellectual property (IP) ecosystems safer, more transparent and cost-effective. However, multiple challenges remain to be addressed before IP stakeholders will be able to widely use blockchain-based solutions.

The webinar on Blockchain whitepaper for IP Ecosystems held on September 28, 2021 marked the launch of the whitepaper prepared by the International Bureau of WIPO. This white paper is a reflection of the fast-paced developments in Blockchain technology and its impact on intellectual property frameworks throughout the world. It aims to explore potential applications, opportunities and challenges presented by blockchain to existing IP ecosystems.

The webinar featured speakers from around the world to discuss the content of WIPO whitepaper and explore blockchain use cases within IP ecosystems and business.

Composed of two sessions, the event began with an opening statement by Mr. Ken-ichiro Natsume, Assistant Director General, Infrastructure and Platforms Sector, WIPO. Speaking on the importance of blockchain and the initiatives taken by WIPO, he emphasized the Organization’s role in leading the way for enabling members of the IP framework to harness the benefits of this revolutionary technology, by facilitating potential applications of blockchain within IP ecosystems.

The first session explored the main considerations of blockchain and the findings of the white paper. The representatives of WIPO Blockchain Task Force further emphasized the need for standardization efforts for blockchain in IP: “IP needs law and order to work, while blockchain is about working where there is no need for law or trust. Thus, we see blockchain solutions taking middle ground, solving some of the problems between the order of traditional IP rights, and the chaos of what some blockchain applications may bring, hence, the working draft of new WIPO standard needs to allow for solutions anywhere on that spectrum, keeping things within the requisite laws to make IP work.”

The second session of the webinar shed light on blockchain use cases within IP ecosystems. Experts from public and private sector organizations addressed the benefits of the blockchain platform in providing transparency, security, and interoperability to IP stakeholders, and further explored the challenge of meeting national legislation requirements and establishing the governance of such blockchain networks.

The speakers and other participants engaged in discussions on the primary considerations of blockchain, including technical standards, governance, regulatory framework and collaboration, and capacity building.

The speakers also further echoed the necessity of harmonization and collaboration to advance the use of blockchain.

What’s ahead

The WIPO Blockchain Task Force is drafting a WIPO Standard supporting the potential applications of blockchain technologies within IP ecosystems that could help to address some of these uncertainties, by facilitating interoperability, enabling the smooth adoption of this frontier technology, and providing IP owners with the security, which they need in protecting their intangible assets.

WIPO will thus, continue to spearhead coordination efforts on regulation, governance and standardization of blockchain in IP ecosystems through collaborative pilot projects, capacity building initiatives and public-private partnerships – including the continued facilitation of discussions between IP offices, international IP entities, and international institutions.

About the Blockchain Task Force….

The Blockchain Task Force was established in 2018 under the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) by member states of WIPO, as a response to the continued impact of blockchain technologies in various industries and its extensive use in the IP community. Its mandate is to develop reference models for using blockchain in the field of IP and to propose a new WIPO Standard supporting potential applications of blockchain technology within IP ecosystems.