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Italy Increases Financial Support For WIPO

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

12 September 2007

Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr Kamil Idris, and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Massimo D'Alema, signed an agreement in Rome on September 10, 2007, which strengthens Italy’s commitment to consolidate and reinforce its contribution to the activities of WIPO.

The agreement formalizes Italy’s long-standing support of WIPO’s activities relating to economic development, and makes Italy one of the largest contributors of extra budgetary resources to WIPO.

Dr Idris and Mr D’Alema on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which establishes a funds-in-trust (FIT) program to cover intellectual property (IP) related activities in developing countries.

The agreement prioritizes the promotion of economic and commercial activities based on IP, the relationship between IP and technological development, the development of creative industries, the use of IP by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the protection of geographical indications (GIs), industrial designs, IP training, and the fight against counterfeiting and audiovisual piracy.

While the FIT agreement is aimed at all developing countries, special emphasis will be placed on assistance to least developed countries (LDCs) and countries in the Mediterranean area.

Dr. Idris announced following the signing of the agreement that:

“WIPO is very grateful to the Government of Italy for this act of generosity and its foresight in supporting capacity building in developing countries.”

He added:

“This FIT will be dedicated to helping developing countries to capitalize on the tools of the intellectual property system to promote economic, social and cultural development.”

This current contribution builds on the significant financial support already provided by Italy to a number of WIPO programs. Italy is also one of the major users of WIPO’ services to the private sector, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks.

Further financial contributions to this FIT agreement will be made by the High Commission for the Fight Against Counterfeiting, Italy’s National Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Society of Authors and Composers (SIAE), Italy’s collective management society. The fund may also channel contributions from the Italian private sector.

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