South-South and Triangular Cooperation > World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Project: “Enhancing South-South Cooperation on IP and Development among Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”

As the main focal points for the coordination and development of technical assistance to countries in the Africa, Arab, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean regions, WIPO’s Regional Bureaus and the Copyright Development Division work closely with other specialized units and sectors within WIPO to respond to requests from Member States to enhance national capacity to more effectively use IP for development. While not necessarily labelled as such, many of WIPO’s past and current technical assistance and capacity building activities have been and are carried out in the spirit of South-South cooperation. Formally, the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) adopted, in November 2011, a Project on “Enhancing South-South Cooperation on IP and Development among Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”. This two-year project aims to develop means to channel the efforts of different actors to promote South-South cooperation in the area of IP towards the establishment of development-oriented IP systems in developing countries and LDCs taking into account the particular circumstances and challenges developing countries and LDCs face.

In line with the WIPO Development Agenda which aims to ensure that development considerations form an integral part of the Organization’s activities, the project relates to specific recommendations in the areas of promoting development-oriented IP technical and legal assistance, IP institutional and domestic innovation capacity building, facilitating access and dissemination of knowledge, technology and the use of IP flexibilities, and understanding the link between IP and competition policies.

With the objective of harvesting and exchanging valuable knowledge and experience through enhanced cooperation among developing countries and LDCs and through the sharing of information on practical initiatives that developing countries and LDCs can and have utilized to strategically use IP as a tool for achieving broader public policy and development goals, this project entails the organization of two inter-regional expert meetings on South-South cooperation to foster the sharing of experiences and lessons learned. The First Interregional Meeting (http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2012/wipo_ip_grtkf_bra_12/) addressed the fields of IP governance, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, copyright and related rights. More specifically:

  • IP governance:  the Meeting focused on promoting synergies between IP governance and South-South cooperation on IP and development, and on IP as a tool in addressing main challenges of global knowledge governance in the areas of climate change, food security, internet, innovation and public health.
  • Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (GRTKF): the Meeting addressed national experiences in the protection of traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources, and discussed how to facilitate international cooperation, in particular South-South cooperation, in using IP-based systems for the protection of these areas.
  • Copyright and related rights:  the Meeting discussed the international protection of audiovisual works, performers, and broadcasting organizations.  It also addressed national experiences and South-South cooperation in the field of copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives, educational and research institutions and for visually impaired persons.  Finally, it discussed how to strike the right balance in developing countries when it comes to copyright and related rights and the preservation of the public domain, and provided international and regional perspectives on the challenges of the creative industries and on the collective management of copyright and related rights in the digital environment.

The Second Interregional Meeting (http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2013/wipo_ssc_cai_13/) focuses on the fields of patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs and enforcement. The project also entails the organization of two Annual Conferences to discuss the outcomes of the expert meetings and discuss the future of South-South initiatives in the field of intellectual property (First Annual Conference on South-South Cooperation on IP and Development: http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/2012/wipo_ssc_ge_12/). The project will also aim to provide an online one stop facility of all developing countries, LDCs and WIPO activities in the area of South-South cooperation on IP, with a view to facilitating exchanges and fostering the building of linkages and collaborative projects among IP offices, universities, public research institutions and civil society organizations in developing countries and LDCs.