WIPO Assemblies Close, Marked by Robust Growth in Treaty Accessions, Guidance on Future Work

The WIPO Assemblies meetings ended with robust growth in countries adhering to the treaties that underpin the global intellectual property (IP) system, signaling the strength of multilateral engagement by the membership, while delegates agreed new guidance on WIPO’s future work.
During the September 24-October 2, 2018 meetings, member states agreed to push forward with negotiations on proposed treaties on broadcasting as well as IP and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and a Design Law Treaty.

This, together with nine new accessions or ratifications of WIPO treaties, showed member states’ strong engagement with the IP systems administered by WIPO and underlined the member states’ commitment to the multilateral system, said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

“Intellectual property rights form the incentive structure for innovators and creators worldwide, while the treaty-based global IP system administered by the WIPO secretariat facilitates orderly cross-border trade in the technological and cultural products that foster growth and improve lives everywhere,” said Mr. Gurry.

During the Assemblies, WIPO member states joined many of the Organization’s treaties, including:

  • Azerbaijan joined the Marrakesh Treaty, as the 42nd country to deposit an instrument of accession to the Treaty. The Treaty eases the creation and transfer across national boundaries of texts specially adapted for use by visually impaired people.
  • Côte d’Ivoire joined the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications as its second contracting party. The Geneva Act will enter into force after five eligible parties accede or ratify it.
  • The European Union joined the Marrakesh Treaty, bringing the number of countries covered by the agreement to 70.
  • India joined the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty – known together as the “Internet Treaties”. India’s accession brings the total number of contracting parties to the “Internet Treaties” to 97 each.
  • Japan joined the Marrakesh Treaty, bringing the number of countries covered by the agreement to 71.
  • Malawi joined the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, bringing the International Trademark System to 118 countries covered.
  • Peru joined two WIPO treaties during the WIPO Assemblies: the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and as the 21st member of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which will enter into force after it is joined by 30 contracting parties.

Throughout the Assemblies, delegates worked together to shape and evolve the global IP system.  Among other actions (in agenda order) taken at the WIPO Assemblies, delegates:

In addition, WIPO and the research-based pharmaceutical industry launched a new online tooldesigned to help procurement agencies better understand the global patent status of medicines.  The Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED) is a unique resource where patent holders provide information about patents covering approved medicines through a free, open access database.

On the occasion of the Assemblies, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center agreed with six further member states to work together to develop and promote ways of resolving IP disputes outside the courts. The Center also informed member states that it had received a record number of Internet domain name cases filed by trademark holders.

WIPO Member States organized a series of events and exhibitions on the sidelines of the Assemblies, including those by Poland, the Baltic States, the CACEEC grouping, Republic of KoreaJapanMoldovaPortugalUnited Arab EmiratesArgentinaPeru and Croatia. Full coverage, including a series of WIPO Secretariat informational sessions, can be found on the Assemblies Spotlight page.

The General Assembly was chaired by Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, Viet Nam’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. In closing remarks, he thanked delegations for their active engagement throughout the Assemblies.

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