~ Anubhooti Shaw
"Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana."
~ Bill Gates
With life advancement come luxury and its respective disadvantages. Property, either acquired as material or non-material in nature, does picture as an important rapidly developing sector round the globe. The non-material sector mostly involves the intellectual property which is definitely in the headlines now. This globally growing demands needs to be tamed in such a way that neither the law nor the owner of the property suffers a miscarriage of justice and rights respectively.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations. Currently, there are 193 members in the World Intellectual Property Organization. Article 1 of the key agreement establishing WIPO’s relationship to the UN restates WIPO’s purpose as: “for promoting creative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to the industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development…”
The main functions of WIPO include:
● Assisting campaigns development to improve IP protection all over the world and to harmonize national legislation in this field,
● Signing the international agreements on IP protection,
● Applying the administrative functions of the Paris and Berne Unions,
● Rendering technical and legal assistance in the field of IP,
● Collecting and disseminating the information, conducting researches and publishing their results,
● Ensuring the work of the services facilitating the international IP protection,
● Applying any other appropriate actions.
These functions only work in a country where the laws are strict, well implemented and have the least amount of loopholes. The functions of WIPO act as a promoter in a chemical reaction. As of now, India is one of the countries which has a lot of loopholes. There are way more neglected issues rather than challenges. Some of these issues are:
● Formulate comprehensive IPR Policies for various sectors and Academic Institutions
● Train personnel to manage IPR
● Provide access and training to use Patent information databases
● Create a consortium of IPR professionals to offer professional services for IPR work.
As the Director General observed in his address to the WIPO Assemblies in 2018, “3.1 million patent applications, 7 million trademark applications and 963,000 design applications were filed in IP offices around the world in 2016. These are prodigious numbers and represent increases over the last 20 years of 189 percent, 253 percent and 388 percent, respectively.”
The explosive growth in IP applications in recent years reflects the growing importance of technology and innovation in the global economy and in our daily lives. As humanity responds to the urgent global challenges of our time, such as climate change, global health, and food security, their importance can only rise.
Massive challenges are faced in health, such as antimicrobial resistance, new diseases, neglected tropical diseases, and other threats that necessitate the development of new drugs and vaccines, as well as new approaches to the delivery of health services and products. Climate change poses a serious challenge to our survival, necessitating increased creativity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the advancement of green technologies.
As far as food safety is concerned, experts estimate a 40% increase in the population of the world will require a 70% increase in agricultural productivity by 2050. This emphasizes the importance of biotechnology and other related innovations including drones and robotics in supporting sustainable agriculture.
Firstly, the rapid development and the immense impact of disruptive technologies on existing IP regimes. These technologies present unique challenges in the formulation and implementation of policies. In the event of internet radio operation in a largely unregulated environment, for example, the capacity of creators to enforce their digital rights is a major challenge. In combination with this, the technological capabilities of various regions differ greatly. This has important implications for the development of effective development policy and the creation of effective IP management and governance systems.
Secondly, IPs is becoming increasingly global but IP systems continue to be mostly domestic or regional. This presents an important challenge because IP rights granted in one jurisdiction may not apply in other jurisdictions. Innovation, creativity, or business is not beneficial. More consistency is needed in this area.
Thirdly, while weak patent protection can lead to suboptimal innovation, too strong patent rights cost more innovative labour. Similarly, ambiguous or wide-ranging IP protective systems, especially for software patents, are unbearable for growth.
Finally, although women inventors, designers and artists benefit from the work of the world, there remains a major challenge in terms of gender in access to and use of IP rights. This gap is of importance because equality between men and women is a human right, and it is better when women and girls have the capacity to contribute fully to creativity and innovation. WIPO data indicates that less than a third of the international patent applications submitted in 2015 included inventors of women. Although a major improvement over previous years, efforts to break this gender gap must be doubled.
Intellectual Property will see a brighter future if the laws bend over a little to favour most of the beneficiaries. Completing IP is a complex process in which numerous clauses and provisions may interfere with patentee interests. It is therefore extremely important to invest prudently and to anticipate risks faced by companies. Help from businesses with a background in patent filing and the protection of IP rights is essential in these situations.
It shows that evolution and the necessary changes have succeeded, but definitely with rapid modernization of society and mind it must be updated. It shows the growth of an organization and will surely lead to what we can all achieve for the future, from an idea that will address intellectual property issues to being a global equality flag bearer.