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Legal and Regulatory Framework - WIPO

Legal and Regulatory Framework - WIPO

Information dated: 2017
Legislative Assistance

Upon request by individual member states, WIPO provides tailored advice on the design of laws on patents, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications (GIs), as well as on provisions on IP enforcement, taking into account specific country needs and situations. All legislative advice is provided on a strictly bilateral, neutral and confidential basis. The assistance offered to developing countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and countries in transition includes:

  • Advice/assistance in the preparation of laws/provisions;
  • Comments on draft national laws/provisions;
  • Advisory missions to discuss IP‑related legislative issues with policymakers;
  • Specific advice on policy issues, on compliance with international treaty obligations or with negotiated bilateral or regional agreements, on the use of multilateral flexibilities in the country’s interest, or on national/regional strategies aimed at building respect for IP.
Modalities of legislative assistance

WIPO provides legislative advice under a number of different modalities, in accordance with the specific interests and the requests of member states. Legislative advice is provided on a strictly bilateral and confidential basis.

For example, a country that does not have IP legislation in a particular field may request a draft law from the WIPO Secretariat. The draft would take into account specific national considerations, such as that country’s membership of international agreements, and its level of economic development. The authorities of the requesting country would be encouraged to revise the draft as they see fit. The Secretariat would then provide comments on the revised text.

The enactment of such a law would not, however, be the end of the assistance, but rather the end of a first phase. Once the law was enacted, the member state may request further WIPO assistance to aid its efficient implementation and enforcement. This might include generating awareness of the new legislation; and training officials, judges and lawyers.

The WIPO Secretariat also undertakes advisory missions to member states upon request for bilateral discussions on legislative matters; or receives national officials and policy-makers for discussions at WIPO headquarters. Discussions on legislative matters are also addressed in the course of numerous other workshops, roundtables, seminars and meetings.

Progressive development of patent laws

The SCP was created in 1998 to serve as a forum to discuss issues, facilitate coordination and provide guidance concerning the progressive international development of patent law. By dealing with clusters of interlocking issues rather than working in isolation on single issues, it is intended to provide member states with an effective mechanism for setting priorities and allocating resources and ensure the coordination and continuity of interrelated, on-going work.

The Committee is composed of all member states of WIPO and/or of the Paris Union. As observers, certain member states of the UN, who are not members of WIPO and/or the Paris Union, as well as a number of accredited intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also participate in the SCP.

Progressive development of trademark, industrial design and geographical indication laws

The Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) was created in 1998 to serve as a forum to discuss issues, facilitate coordination and provide guidance on the progressive development of international law on trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications, including the harmonization of national laws and procedures.

Participation in the SCT is open to all member states of WIPO or the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property as members. A special rule of procedure extends membership without the right to vote to the European Union. In addition, member states of the United Nations that are not members of WIPO or the Paris Union, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations accredited with observer status at WIPO may participate in the Committee in an observer capacity.

Progressive development of copyright laws

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) was set up in the 1998-1999 biennium to examine matters of substantive law or harmonization in the field of copyright and related rights.

The Committee is composed of all member states of WIPO and/or of the Berne Union; and, as observers, certain member states of the United Nations (UN) which are non-members of WIPO and/or the Berne Union, as well as a number of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Standing Committee formulates recommendations for consideration by the WIPO General Assembly or a Diplomatic Conference.

Building respect for intellectual property

WIPO works globally, with our member states as well as public and private organizations, to help develop an understanding of and respect for intellectual property (IP). Building respect for IP means helping create an environment in which IP can fulfill its role to stimulate innovation and creation.  It also means fostering an environment in which the system of protection provides equitable benefits for both owners and users of IP.

Through our activities in this area, WIPO aims to facilitate social and economic development and welfare, in accordance with the WIPO Development Agenda (Recommendation 45). Building respect for IP requires integrating elements encompassing developments in legislation, awareness and cultural change, business and technology solutions, and institutional collaboration.

WIPO provides the forum at which the relevant stakeholders continue to identify, discuss and elaborate creative solutions for building respect for IP.