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page 36

Program 11

Global Intellectual Property Issues

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Background

In a world of rapid technological and economic change, three challenges face the global intellectual property system:  (1) accelerated technological change requires more rapid responses from WIPO;  (2) increased integration of national information, cultural, and trading systems into regional and global systems requires analysis at the global level;  and (3) the expansion of intellectual property into the mainstream of policy making and public consciousness requires the exploration of new ways in which intellectual property can promote social and economic progress.  Several strategies and research methods are used to meet the Program’s objectives:  multi-disciplinary scientific and legal research,  case studies,  pilot projects,  and awareness-raising activities.  Research will focus on the role of IPRs at the interface between global processes and local transformations.  

Objectives

Research emerging intellectual property issues to enable WIPO to maintain its capacity to serve the interests of all its Member States.  This objective includes early identification, exploration, conceptual groundwork and systematic data collection with regard to such emerging issues.

Explore four emerging intellectual property issues:  the use of the intellectual property system by new beneficiaries, such as holders of indigenous knowledge and innovations; the role of intellectual property rights in the joint-system dynamics of economic and environmental systems, with a focus on the relation between biotechnology and biodiversity; the need for new or adapted forms of protection of expressions of folklore; and the policy options for the use of IPRs relating to evolving notions of territoriality.

Main Activities and Results

As a new division, GIPID’s internal operation methods needed to be established as program activities began.  Despite limited staffing and financial resources, these crucial functions were accomplished, as well as the following:

Developed information material, flyers, and conference material to represent and disseminate the work of the Division.

Defined, operationalized, and applied research methods to specific program activities. Established an information-technology infrastructure, procured and installed a multi-user bibliographic database and a management database for contact information; the two databases became operational in May 1998.

Sub-program 11.1

Intellectual Property Rights for New Beneficiaries

Participated in four conferences related to new approaches to use of the intellectual property system by new beneficiaries, such as holders of indigenous knowledge and innovations.  Provided accurate intellectual property information and gathered information on the intellectual property needs, rights, and expectations of such new

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