December 19, 2007

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently held a forum whereby ministers and a number of top officials from several least developed countries (LDCs) discussed the potential impact on intellectual property as a “strategic tool” for helping those countries advance. According to the WIPO announcement (link below), the forum, entitled “HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FOR THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: BUILDING CAPACITY AND A KNOWLEDGE BASE FOR WEALTH CREATION, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT”, was held on December 12, 2007, highlighting the potential using IP for “alleviating poverty and promoting wealth creation” in LDCs, and using IP as “a tool for wealth creation, social and cultural development.” According to one representative of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Debapriya Bhattacharya, IP “can be a strategic tool to promote innovation and give a boost to the SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], generate income for our artisans and performers, protect our traditional knowledge, healing practices and cultural heritage from misappropriation, help increase food production, bring benefit from geographical indicators, expand innovative and non-traditional ways of learning, facilitate investment and transfer for technology and generate wealth.” Additional comments from several LDCs, including Lesotho, Senegal, the Republic of Guinea, Ethiopia, and Uganda are provided in the WIPO announcement link below. A link to the provisional program, showing all speakers and topics at the LDC forum, is provided below for your reference.

WIPO LDC Forum Announcement: LINK
Provisional Forum Program: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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