The course is the tenth in an annual series of WTO-WIPO courses and will run over until 23 March. Thirty officials from developing countries are participating in the course.

Mario Matus, Deputy Director General at WIPO, and Antony Taubman, Director of the Intellectual Property, Government Procurement & Competition Division at the WTO, opened the course. They highlighted the importance of this capacity building exercise, which brings together officials with a strong background in intellectual property and responds to the growing demand within developing countries for enhanced awareness of intellectual property issues.

Government officials will be updated on the available capacity-building activities and instruments of WIPO and the WTO and on other multilateral developments, and will be able to exchange information, experience and ideas on IP matters among themselves and with the two Secretariats. The course is designed to equip participants with the necessary tools to develop and apply domestic policies that will contribute to the IP development process in their respective countries.

The programme provides a platform to build up dialogue and establish a solid partnership between peers that will continue beyond the two-week course, putting national experiences and advice on best practices and strategies at the center of the discussion. It will help officials to build the skills and knowledge needed to work with other stakeholders at the national level and to update, design and harness IP systems in promoting economic and development goals. 

Participants and topics

Thirty participants were selected from developing countries and their participation was financed by WIPO and WTO. One additional official from a developed country was also selected at their own expense. The selection process took into account IP expertise and knowledge and sought to ensure geographical and gender balance. Fourteen of the participants are women.

Participants are from: Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Liberia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Thailand, United Kingdom, Viet Nam and Zambia.

Expert presentations, discussion sessions, panel deliberations, and practical exercises will take place during the two weeks of the course covering a wide range of subjects, including:

  • law, policy and development dimensions of intellectual property (IP);
  • international treaties and conventions governing intellectual property;
  • IP and its relation to economic development, international trade, public health, biotechnology, climate change, biodiversity, and competition policy;
  • current international practices in copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, patents and trade secrets;
  • WTO Dispute Settlement System and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS);
  • recent developments in WIPO and the WTO on genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional culture expressions;
  • IP and e-commerce – a discussion on regulatory responses at the international level;
  • IP and dispute settlement mechanisms.

Learning from the experts

Participants will hear from a diversity of IP stakeholders. Experts from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will address participants, as well as representatives of academia and the private sector.




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