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Italy Increases WIPO Contributions

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

05 November 2007


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced last week that contributions by the Government of Italy in the framework of a recently-concluded agreement have reached EUR600,000.

The most recent contribution, amounting to EUR300,000, was communicated to WIPO on October 24, 2007 and came from the Directorate General for Cooperation to Development (DGCS), Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

This contribution followed the signing in September of an agreement between WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Massimo D'Alema, which strengthened Italy’s commitment to consolidating and reinforcing its contribution to the activities of WIPO.

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

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in Rome on September 10, 2007 established a funds-in-trust (FIT) program to cover intellectual property (IP) related activities in developing countries and countries in transition.

The agreement prioritized 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 and countries in transition, special emphasis is placed on assistance to least developed countries (LDCs) and countries in the Mediterranean area.

Earlier this year, the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs contributed, in the context of this FIT, an additional EUR300,000. Part of this helped to finance a joint post-graduate program in IP offered by the WIPO Worldwide Academy, the University of Turin and the International Labour Organisation, International Training Center (ILO-ITC).

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