To help member states deal with the COVID-19 epidemic and recover more effectively as part of their sustained post-COVID economic recovery activities, WIPO Director launched a package of support measures. As part of its Program of Work and Budget 2022/23, WIPO member states accepted this COVID-19 response package in October 2021.
1.Strategic Pillar 1: Inform as many people as possible about the IP potential to enhance everyone’s lives.
The package’s details, as well as how the Member States can access and request support, will be explained at regular briefing meetings for Permanent Representatives headquartered in Geneva and Heads of IP offices situated in capitals.
Resources and information about upcoming and ongoing activities will be periodically added to the WIPO’s COVID-19 response package website.
2.Strategic Pillar 2: To influence the future of the global IP ecosystem, bring people together and collaborate with stakeholders.
ER2.2 WIPO brought the international community together to proactively address new concerns and policy issues about IP, innovation, and creativity at the global level.
• Legislation and policy advice on patents, trade secrets, and other relevant types of intellectual property, including aid in utilizing national laws’ flexibilities connected to patents.
• Including the term “epidemic” in the PCT legal framework to call upon “excuse of delay” clauses as an illustration of a force majeure event.
• The establishment of two legal bases that provide the granting of brief extensions to PCT time restrictions in cases of “general disruption” and permits the waiver of the requirement to provide proof of a force majeure event.
• WIPO will assist the Program with Non-proprietary Names (INNs) for Pharmaceutical Substances, which include COVID-19 INNs for medications, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Research on the factors that influence creativity in the COVID-19 vaccine, drug, and production ecosystems, including access to publicly funded research findings, and the planning of a relevant seminar.
3. Strategic Pillar 2: Organize people and collaborate with stakeholders to influence the future of the global IP ecosystem.
ER2.4 Effective communication and collaboration with the UN, IGOs, and NGOs in support of universal objectives that IP may help achieve.
• Increased collaboration with the WHO and WTO in international policy areas involving commerce, IP, and health.
• Opening of the Trilateral Technical Assistance Gateway for WIPO, WTO, and WHO: a “one-stop shop for coordination and support delivery.
• Trilateral Symposium on Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic and Looking Ahead in 2022 (June 2022).
• WIPO’s participation on the Executive Board of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) will help it respond more effectively to COVID-19 and other issues involving global health.
4.Strategic Pillar 3: Offer users all across the world high-quality IP services, information, and data that are valuable.
ER3.1 utilization of WIPO’s worldwide IP systems, services, knowledge, and data should be expanded and made more efficient.
• WIPO will step up its efforts to improve SMEs’ access to and use of the Madrid and Hague Systems and introduce flexible timeframes.
• New offerings from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre, such as customized WIPO mediation agreements make it easier to negotiate contracts and create industry-best dispute resolution procedures, notably in the health and life sciences sectors.
• The October 2022 release of the WIPO ADR Guidance Document for the Life Sciences sector and the promotion of new WIPO ADR Options through publications and events
• Modernizing current web services and e-tools for PCT operations, such as ePCT and virtual desktop infrastructure. To improve the customer journey, increase intelligent automation and self-service activities.
5. Strategic Pillar 3: Offer users all across the world high-quality IP services, information, and data that are valuable.
ER3.3 The IP-based platforms and resources provided by WIPO enable knowledge-high-quality technology adaption to tackle global challenges.
• Providing platforms to support the scaling up of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing by accelerating knowledge transfer and technological adaptation by connecting developers and input suppliers with producers and users.
• Strengthening collaboration and collaborations, especially with research institutions, to improve access to information about patents that are made available to the public.
• Strengthening tools and programs for supporting innovation, such as the WIPO INSPIRE platform and the Access to Specialized Patent Information (ASPI) initiative.
6. Strategic Pillar 4: Encourage the use of IP by organizations, businesses, communities, and people to promote growth and sustainable development.
ER4.3 Increased awareness and proficiency of IP across the board.
• Giving Member States the authority to conduct IP training via national IP Training Institutions (IPTIs), which may include IP, public health, innovation, and medical technology modules.
The WIPO Academy will provide a new pilot series of quick executive programs with a focus on the economic recovery following COVID-19.
• Increasing the number of participants from poor nations, least developed countries, and economies in transition eligible for fee waivers and the WIPO Academy Distance Learning scholarship program.
• Increasing collaboration with the eLearning Academy of the International Trade Centre (ITC).
• WIPO will increase impact by combining remote and in-person training in its PCT technical assistance efforts.
6. Strategic Pillar 4: Support governments, enterprises, communities, and individuals to use IP as a tool for growth and sustainable development.
ER4.4: More innovators, creators, SMEs, universities, research institutions, and communities leverage IP successfully.
• Publishing preliminary (March 2022) and updated patent landscape reports on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics and creating related content in the PATENTSCOPE portal.
• Preparing a package of technology transfer resources for pandemic preparedness including a database of relevant IP policies.
• Leveraging WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs) and other technology transfer structures.
• Developing decision-making and licensing tools for improved use of genetic resources (GR) and GR data and a report on GR data and new technologies illustrating their relevance for vaccines and therapeutics.
• Improving the availability of knowledge resources including both online and offline, e.g. textbooks and reference materials, for primary and secondary schools in LDCs and developing countries.
Engaging with SMEs, Youth, Women & Local Communities SMEs
• Supporting SMEs to access the Madrid and Hague systems and develop IP management processes.
• Empirical study on the link between IP-intensive industries and IP-intensive economic resilience to the pandemic.
• Organizing specialized training on technology training and IP rights, including sector-specific capacity sector-specifics targeting SMEs that have experienced significant growth during the pandemic (e.g. video gaming industry), with emphasis on youth.
• Supporting the participation of entrepreneurs in the digital economy.
• Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on local communities, including indigenous communities, to inform the design of appropriate initiatives.
• Execution of specific programs geared toward the development, defense, and exploitation of brand value via collective, certification marks, and geographical indications, including for female entrepreneurs.
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