Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

Susan Bingi address WTO Public Forum

At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.

Uganda Government Moves Towards Top-Level Domain Management

Uganda Internet Luwana

The use of internet continues to grow rapidly in Uganda. The Uganda Communications Commission’s quarterly report reveals that the country had over eight million internet users by the end of first quarter of 2014.

Now, the government of Uganda is involved in a struggle over who should have the custodial rights to manage the .ug domain, the country’s Country Code Top-Level Domain, (ccTLD), which is currently run by a third party.

Domain Dispute Seems To Show Plight Of The ‘Little Guy’ In A Corporate System

marlboro man

A recent cybersquatting case processed under the World Intellectual Property Organization internet domain dispute procedures offers a possible glimpse of the plight of ordinary internet users in a global system dominated by large companies and their legal teams.

Inauspicious Start To Gurry’s Second Term As IP Policymaking Hits Wall At WIPO

General Assembly Chair, Amb. Päivi Kairamo

To hear some delegates’ late night closing statements at the General Assembly last night, developing country goals at the World Intellectual Property Organization died this week, as key issues met roadblocks in every direction. But all member states claimed to be shaken by the crash of WIPO’s normative agenda this week, putting the model for negotiating at the UN agency into question.

Lisbon Agreement Members To Move Ahead With Treaty Talks Despite Resistance

WIPO - Catherine Saez (7)

The revision of a World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to include geographical indications, raising their status, was challenged in vain by some countries in the past week. In addition, this week’s WIPO General Assembly has been working intensively on a range of other issues.

Several WIPO Committee Reports Stamped by General Assembly; Dissent Persists

WIPO General Assembly opening

Every year at this time, various World Intellectual Property Organization committees give a report to the organisation’s General Assembly on their past year’s activities and recommendations for decisions to be taken, including work they will be undertaking during the next year. At this week’s Assembly, reports were noted from committees on patents, trademarks, WIPO standards, and enforcement.

Countries Begin Push To Reduce Differences In Patent Laws

USPTO Michelle Lee and Korea Commissioner Kim

Some of the leading patent-filing nations this week renewed an effort to harmonise procedures for filing patents in their national offices. Image Credits: Eric Bridiers, US Mission

Lisbon GI Revision A Hot Topic As Members Prepare For Treaty Talks

EU GI logo

A proposed amendment to the Lisbon Agreement protecting appellations of origin at the World Intellectual Property Organization is the object of heated discussions between proponents of geographical indications and countries favouring other systems such as trademarks to protect such intellectual property titles. A side event to this week’s WIPO General Assemblies gathered GI proponents to ponder the future of the agreement.

Strengthening WIPO’s Governance For The Next 50 Years: A Time For Action

WIPO GA  - WIPO

In 2017, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will mark its 50th anniversary. In the lead up to that milestone, the next three years provide a vital opportunity for Member States to update and strengthen WIPO’s governance, both to address current problems and to better equip the organisation for addressing challenges that may arise in the next 50 years.