Intellectual Property Meets SMART Agriculture Webinar
The purpose of this webinar was to discuss how smart agriculture can support African communities to ensure food security and how the patent system can contribute to increased knowledge and skills in agriculture in order to enable these communities to make more effective use of these advanced technologies.
Watch the webinar here.
Semiconductors & the WTO
This report by the Semiconductor Industry Association argues that the steady opening of markets and leveling of the global playing field spearheaded by the WTO over the past 25 years has been critical to the success of the global semiconductor industry. Given the sheer volume and complexity of global semiconductor trade, along with high capital costs and short product life-cycles, the ability to move semiconductor goods and materials freely, fairly, and efficiently across borders has been critical to the industry’s success and technological progress.
Celebration of WTO’s 25th Anniversary
On the occasion of the WTO’s 25th anniversary, a number of representatives of the private sector, international organizations and non-governmental organizations have provided video messages where they reflect on what the WTO and the multilateral trading system means to them. They provide their thoughts on how to ensure trade continues to support economic growth, development and job creation and what they expect from the global trading system in the future.
Virtual symposium to mark 25 years of the TRIPS Agreement
The WTO is organizing on 24 November 2020 a virtual symposium to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). This will be the first of a series of commemorative events reflecting on the impact and evolution of the most comprehensive multilateral treaty on intellectual property protection and enforcement.
WTO: Proposal on COVID and IP by South Africa and India
During the October 2020 TRIPS Council meeting, 40 TRIPS Council members discussed a proposal submitted by India and South Africa for a temporary waiver of a broad range of TRIPS obligations. The sponsors argued that this could facilitate the global response to COVID-19. The proposal endorses a waiver for all WTO members of the implementation, application, and enforcement of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement – including all the patent protection and enforcement provisions – in order to enhance access to new therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. This proposal warrants careful examination. IP rights will be an important tool underpinning the collaborations required to develop and get the relevant technologies to patients everywhere, and quickly. They can be expected to play a constructive and important role, thus accelerating the global COVID response.
By catalyzing a broad range of innovative collaborations, WIPO Re:Search supports early-stage research and development (R&D) in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and tuberculosis. Harnessing the power of public-private partnerships, it helps make IP available to scientists who need it. Moreover, through WIPO Re:Search, scientists from a range of countries have had the chance to participate in scientific exchanges and training abroad. This was an unanticipated benefit from the initiative. Innovation Council member Novartis was a founding member of WIPO Re:Search.
WIPO’s Inventor Assistance Program
The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) – a WIPO initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum – is the first global program to match developing country inventors and small businesses with limited financial means with patent attorneys. These experts provide pro bono legal assistance to help inventors secure patent protection. Participating countries are Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa. Innovation Council members Novartis and Qualcomm are on the advisory board of the IAP, and were instrumental in its establishment.
New WIPO DG Daren Tang
WTO report on COVID-19
The WTO Secretariat published this new information note warning of possible increases to trade costs due to COVID-19 disruptions. The note examines the pandemic’s impact on key components of trade costs, particularly those relating to travel and transport, trade policy, uncertainty, and identifies areas where higher costs may persist even after the pandemic is contained.