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WIPO Releases White Paper on Blockchain and IP ecosystems

February 15, 2022

Blockchain technologies have both disruptive and transformative potential; they are among a number of frontier technologies that could offer new ways to do business and manage intellectual property (IP) assets.

WIPO, in collaboration with its member states, prepared a white paper on Blockchain technologies and IP ecosystems to help IP offices and other interested parties with their strategic policy and decision making on the adoption of blockchain technologies in their businesses, as well as providing information for further discussions and collaborations among interested parties.

This white paper explores potential applications and opportunities presented by blockchain technologies to IP ecosystems. It also identifies the challenges and issues that should be addressed to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of utilizing such technologies for the benefit of all IP stakeholders.  This white paper suggests that the primary considerations of using blockchain in IP ecosystems are technical standards, regulatory framework, blockchain-network governance, and capacity building.

What’s ahead

Member States established the Blockchain Task Force under the Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS) in 2018.  The Task Force has been 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 and harmonized adoption of this frontier technology, and providing IP owners the security 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.