WIPO Engages IP Offices in Harnessing Technology to Enhance Services and Operations

New technologies are upending traditional practices in national intellectual property (IP) offices, while also promoting new interlinkages among them, Assistant Director-General Kenichiro Natsume said in opening a discussion entitled “What Can Technology Do for IP Offices?”
“Technology has disrupted IP businesses and operations, and digital technologies have recently made IP offices more connected, allowing us to provide better services to our clients. In this regard, WIPO took some initiatives such as the development and implementation of WIPO Standards, and the provision of the Industrial Property Administration System (IPAS), which is now used in over 90 countries,” said Mr. Natsume.

At the event held during the July 6-14 WIPO Assemblies, Heads of IP offices discussed how digital transformation and ICT (information and communication technology) is important for IP offices and what has been done so far.

Konstantinos Georgaras- Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office moderated the session saying, “Our goal today is to have a strategic and diverse discussion with the Heads of IP offices in the area of IT transformation and technology. Technological advancements have always been very important for business, and there are current dynamics, opportunities, and challenges that we are all facing that require strategic thinking and collaboration.”

Speaking on Uganda’s IP landscape and digital transformation programs, Mercy K. Kainobwisho- Registrar General of Uganda Registration Services Bureau said: “We all know that technology is the driver of businesses today. WIPO introduced the IPAS system in Uganda in 2009, and it has been instrumental in assisting IP offices like ours to utilize technology in terms of registration and data management.”

Kathrine Myhre- Director General of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office urged WIPO to take the lead in ICT field including artificial intelligence (AI) by setting standards, shared solutions and enhancing collaboration amongst IP offices, and provide a venue for sharing IP offices’ ICT experiences and tools such as ICT exhibition.


“We use AI in many areas of our work, including in image search for customers and on trademark searches, but we are still in a very early phase, with more to be done. WIPO could take the lead for countries such as Norway by setting standards for developing and testing AI for IP offices,” she stated.

Rowel S. Barba, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), shared some technological advancements made by IPOPHL.

“IPOPHL has been leveraging the power of big data, and we have developed a business intelligence system that uses a data visualization platform to incorporate machine learning AI and advanced analytic features. Our intelligence system has collected IP data from our agency operations for over 50 years, and we intend to use its actionable insights to improve our operations and performance management so that we can better serve our creators, innovators, and businesses,” he said.

The event concluded with a question and answer session that covered topics such as best practices for IP offices, shared solution development, the integration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain in IP offices, data sovereignty and protection and changing mindset of people, and the various stages of development of various IP offices, all of which underscored the need for enhanced collaboration.

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