AIPPI 2023: WIPO director calls for IP system to be more inclusive and horizontal

23 October 2023

AIPPI 2023: WIPO director calls for IP system to be more inclusive and horizontal

On October 22, 2023, the highly anticipated 2023 AIPPI World Congress commenced with a spectacular opening ceremony in Istanbul, where intellectual property experts gathered for a week of discussions and collaboration. Held at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center, the ceremony celebrated the global importance of IP rights and innovation.

In his opening remarks, Habip Asan, director of the division for transition and developed countries at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), emphasized the growing relevance of the global IP system in a world facing many challenges.

“We must move away from this idea that intellectual property is for the industrialized economies. IP should also work for developing countries and the Global South in achieving this transformation. The IP system must become more inclusive and horizontal, engaging not only IP experts and professionals but also women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and startups previously underserved,” he said. 

This shift, which Asan described as “demystifying IP” and bringing IP to the grassroots level, signifies WIPO’s transformation from a primarily technical agency to a developmental agency that operates as the innovation agency of the United Nations.

As part of these efforts, WIPO has initiated projects such as the Global WIPO Training, Mentoring and Matchmaking Program on IP for women entrepreneurs from various countries. The WIPO Academy, the world’s largest provider of IP skills training, also offers courses for startups, exporters, tourism and video games to build practical IP skills. In addition, he highlighted the development of tools and methodologies, including WIPO’s IP Diagnostics self-diagnostic tool and a startup guide for SMEs, which has helped over 8,000 SMEs effectively leverage their IP rights.

According to Asan, WIPO is taking the initiative to facilitate high-level discussions on IP financing involving multiple countries in pursuit of these objectives. These dialogues serve as an avenue for innovators and creators to explore the tools and policies that enable them to maximize the value of their IP. “WIPO is committed to working with our member states and the broader internal community, including AIPPI, to ensure that IP is pivotal in securing our collective status,” he said.

For her part, Esra Dündar Loiseau, a partner at Özdirekcan Dündar Şenocak Ak Attorney Partnership, the correspondent firm of Gide Loyrette Nouel in Turkey, who chairs the Congress Advisory Committee and hosted the opening ceremony, also noted the special significance of this year’s world congress in Turkey. 

“The celebration of the 100-year anniversary of our republic began during the week of October 29, and we are fortunate to host such high-intellectual level congress at the same time,” she said. “Turkey has a long history in terms of protection and influencing their intellectual property rights. Today, we can say that the main staple of our system all works with the same ecosystem to empower the implementation of IP.”

Shoichi Okuyama, president of AIPPI and a partner at Okuyama & Sasajima in Tokyo, and Muhammed Zeki Durak, president of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, also thanked distinguished guests and expressed their gratitude to all members, event organizers, sponsors and contributors who made the congress possible. 

The opening night also included shows and music concerts to promote Turkish culture. The AIPPI World Congress will run until October 25, 2023.

- Excel V. Dyquiangco

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