World Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations which is engaged in policy-making, strengthening cooperation, as well as providing services and information in the field of intellectual property. WIPO was established at a diplomatic conference in 1893. At present, 193 states are members of World Intellectual Property Organization. Mr. Francis Gurry (Australia) takes position of the Director-General of WIPO (until 30 September 2020). From 1 October 2020, H.E. Mr. Daren Tang of Singapore is appointed as WIPO Director-General.
The governing bodies are the General Assembly, the Conference and the Coordination Committee. The major objective of WIPO is the administration of multilateral international conventions. WIPO performs the administrative functions of twenty-six treaties, including Convention on Establishing the WIPO.
WIPO performs activities aimed to improve the protection of intellectual property worldwide and to harmonize national legislation of member states to international laws and regulations in the field of intellectual property. The WIPO performs the administrative functions of the Paris and Berne Unions, provides for technical and legal assistance in the field of intellectual property. The Organization collects and disseminates information, conducts researches, ensures the activities on facilitating international protection of intellectual property.
The Republic of Belarus became a member of the WIPO on 26 April 1970. Belarus is a member to 18 multilateral international conventions in the field of intellectual property, operating under the auspices of the WIPO.
The main areas of cooperation between Belarus and the WIPO are the following:
- Improvement of national legislation in the field of intellectual property, taking into account the experience and best practices of other countries;
- Strengthening the role of intellectual property in the areas of scientific, technical and economic activities carried out in Belarus;
- Improvement of the law enforcement policies in Belarus with a view to prevent, detect and suppress offenses in the field of intellectual property;
- Increasing the scientific and technical expertise of the management of the National Center of Intellectual Property.
On 3 – 5 June 2019, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry paid an official visit to Belarus. On 5 June 2019, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the WIPO.
The program of the visit included meetings with the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime-Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, as well as the heads of the State Committee on Science and Technology, the NAS of Belarus, the NCIP, the High-Tech Park and the Academy of Management under the aegis of the President of Belarus.
In May 2020, Belarus adopted the Law on Accession to the Marrakesh Treaty on Facilitating Access for the Blind and Persons with visual impairments or other disabilities to perceive printed information to published works (applied for Belarus from 22 October 2020). The instrument on Belarus' accession to the Marrakesh Treaty was deposited by H.E. Mr. Yury Ambrazevich, Permanent Representative of Belarus, to WIPO Director General Dr.Gurry during the meeting on 22 July 2020.
On 29 – 30 January 2018, Mr. John Sandage, Deputy Director General of WIPO, paid visit to the Republic of Belarus and familiarized with the development of the national system for the protection, management and protection of intellectual property rights in Belarus. Mr. Sandage held series of meetings at the State Committee for Science and Technology of Belarus, National Center for Strategic Research, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
The Belarusian delegation participates in the annual series of meetings of the WIPO Assemblies, the sessions of the WIPO Committees.
On 30 September – 9 October 2019 the Belarusian delegation, which was headed by Mr. Alexander Shumilin, the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus, participated in the 59th series of meetings of the Assemblies.
At the auspices of the Assembly, on 1 October 2019, Mr. Vladimir Ryabovolov, Director General of the National Centre of Intellectual Property of Belarus, and Dr. Gurry, WIPO Director-General, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the procedure for alternative resolution of disputes in the area of intellectual property.
During the 59th series of meetings of WIPO Assemblies, Belarus was elected to the WIPO Coordination Committee for 2020-2021. Belarus also came up with the initiative to hold in Minsk a diplomatic conference to conclude Design Law Treaty.
On 10 October 2016, during the 56th series of meetings of the WIPO Assemblies the National Center for Intellectual Property and the WIPO signed an Agreement on the Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers, which are being set up to provide access to sources of high-quality technical information and other related services at the local level. The first Center was established on the margins of the Republican Scientific and Technical Library of Belarus.
On 10 December 2019, Belarus Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Oleg Kravchenko met with the WIPO Director-General Dr. Francis Gurry. During the meeting, the sides reviewed the interim results of implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation with WIPO dated 4 July 2019.
The Government of Belarus continued to improve country's position in the WIPO Global Innovation Index. In the Index 2019 Belarus ranked 72nd, and has significantly improved its position by 14 points compared to the 2018 Report (86th position).
In line with the Protocol on Cooperation between the National Center of Intellectual Property of Belarus and the WIPO for Training of Experts in the Field of Intellectual Property Protection dated 2007, the WIPO Academy provides technical assistance to Belarus aimed to strengthen national capacity in the field of intellectual property. WIPO provides expertise and technical assistance to Belarus through thematic seminars and round-tables.
On 18 – 20 December 2018, professors and students of the Polotsk State University of Belarus participated in the scientific and practical seminar on the Current Issues of Intellectual Property in Geneva.
On 26 – 27 April 2018, a regional seminar “Intellectual Property Policy for Universities and Research Institutions” was held on the margins of the Polotsk State University with the participation of WIPO experts.
On 4 – 5 June 2019, the WIPO regional seminar on topical aspects of the use of intellectual property rights took place at the National Library of Belarus. The event was organized by the State Committee on Science and Technology and the National Center of Intellectual Property.
On 20 – 21 November 2019, the national seminar “The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs” took place in Minsk. For Belarus, this event is of practical importance in terms of assessing the advisability of Belarus joining the Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs.
On 23 – 24 October 2019, Belarus and WIPO conducted the seminar “Intellectual Property Policy for Universities and Research Institutes”, which was held at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The agenda of the event was devoted to the issues on developing and implementing IP policies for educational institutions, the commercialization of intellectual property, as well as technology transfer.
Belarus participated in WIPO exhibition dedicated to the International Intellectual Property Day on 26 April 2019 and organized a national exposition dedicated to the II European Games of 2019 (21-30 June 2019 in Minsk).
On 5 October 2019, “WIPO Magazine” published an article of Mr. Vladimir Ryabovolov, Director General of the NCIP, on Belarus-WIPO cooperation.