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WIPO Hosts LDC Forum

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

12 December 2007

Enhancing capacity in the field of intellectual property (IP) as a strategic policy approach to utilizing the IP system for alleviating poverty and promoting wealth creation in least developed countries (LDCs) is the focus of a high-level forum organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on December 12, 2007.

The forum aims to provide an opportunity for ministers, senior policy-makers and Geneva-based diplomats from LDCs to exchange views and gain insights regarding IP capacity building measures for the use and management of the IP system. It further provides an opportunity to explore practical solutions to questions about how the IP system can be developed to serve as a policy tool for economic growth in LDCs.

The Forum is being addressed by ministers from a number of LDCs in a special plenary session on the theme: “Building IP Capacity and a Knowledge Base for Wealth Creation, Social and Cultural Development”.

This is followed by a series of presentations by international experts on a range of topics, including the use of the patent system for technology development and transfer; strengthening business identifiers to facilitate the commercialization of products and services generated by LDCs; the role of copyright and related rights and collective management societies as a contributor of economic growth; recent international developments in the area of IP and traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore; the role of higher education and research and development institutions in LDCs as catalysts of national innovation; and building capacity in all relevant areas of IP in accordance with national development plans.

According to WIPO:

"In today’s increasingly knowledge and information-driven global marketplace, the IP system plays a pivotal role in the conversion of creativity, innovation, knowledge and information into tangible economic assets."

"WIPO supports LDCs in achieving their national development objectives by providing country-specific multi-disciplinary assistance. This is achieved through nationally focused IP development plans to establish infrastructure and modernize IP systems in line with national objectives and requirements."

"WIPO also supports the establishment of IP Advisory Services and Information Centers in LDCs. This contributes to promoting understanding and providing practical insights into the use of the IP system to stimulate scientific, technological and industrial development as well as the use of IP information by R&D centers and the business community to enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural, industrial and service sector economies of LDCs."

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