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WIPO-WTO colloquiums for intellectual property teachers

In 2003, the WTO Intellectual Property Division and WIPO Academy initiated a specialist capacity building exercise for university teachers and researchers from developing countries. The idea was to enhance their practical awareness of the Geneva institutions, negotiations and other processes dealing with intellectual property law and policy, and to strengthen the independent research, policy analysis and teaching capacity of developing countries on international IP law with its diverse policy context.

Since 2004, the WTO and WIPO have jointly organized annual two-week colloquiums, producing a growing number of alumni, from a wide range of developing countries, who continue to play an active role, in both scholarly and policy debates, in their home countries and in international forums.


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What is the colloquium meant to achieve?

Participants are teachers and researchers in intellectual property and closely related disciplines. The programme aims to update them on the activities and instruments of WIPO and the WTO. It focuses on policy issues that are discussed or negotiated in the two organizations, and places these issues in their wider legal and policy contexts. The colloquium aims to strengthen the ability of developing and transition countries’ universities to develop national expertise in intellectual property, providing enhanced policy support for these countries on current negotiations or discussions in the two organizations.

The content is designed to be practical. The colloquiums boost the exchange of information on relevant national or regional experiences between university teachers and the two Secretariats, giving the dialogue a structure. Emphasis is given to enabling participants to develop strategies for improving teaching methods. To maintain the momentum, they encourage participants, trainers and experts to build strong contacts with each other afterwards so that they continue to work together to improve intellectual property teaching and research.

The colloquiums have benefited from the participation of an impressive field of scholars and teachers, thanks to a selective application process and a strong demand for places. They have evolved into true “colloquiums” — academic dialogues or meetings for discussion — with participants called upon to make an active intellectual contribution to the programme, drawing especially on the current issues and policy debates confronting their home countries. Participants are requested to make a presentation on specific topical intellectual property policy or legal issue that is currently under active debate or review in their country or region. In order to capture many insights that are gleaned from the participants’ presentations and vigorous discussions, and at the instigation of many participants, in 2010, it was decided to publish a selection of these contributions in a formal publication series.  


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Key themes

  • Overview of international law and policy in intellectual property
  • Intellectual property and economic development
  • Current international landscape — legal, policy and development dimensions - in intellectual property, including
    • copyright
    • patents
    • trademarks and industrial designs
    • geographical indications
    • Intellectual property and public health
    • Protection of biotechnology and new varieties of plants
    • Intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore: the current international landscape and future directions
    • Intellectual property and transfer of technology and licensing
    • Enforcement of intellectual property
    • Intellectual property and competition policy
    • Intellectual property and climate change
    • Intellectual property and artificial intelligence
    • Intellectual property and jurisprudence
  • WTO Dispute Settlement and the TRIPS Agreement 
  • WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre and Internet Domain Name Dispute
  • Primary sources and information resources in the field of intellectual property 
  •  Intellectual property teaching


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