The head of the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, believes the just concluded Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is important for the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as support for multiculturalism.
"It is a wonderful opportunity for stocktaking and fostering momentum in our planned activities, as well as the exploration of new projects in the area of IP (also known as intellectual property)," said Francis Gurry, director general of the WIPO. He was in Beijing attending the forum, which closed on Saturday.
"We expect and hope that our cooperation will deepen in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative," he said.
As the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation, the WIPO, established in 1967, is a self-funding agency of the United Nations. With 192 member states, it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Francis Gurry has been at its helm since 2008. Intellectual property law protects creators and covers areas of copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
With the development of the Belt and Road, cooperation among countries and regions along the routes has been continuously expanded in every field, including intellectual property.
Gurry expects cooperation in IP could bring real benefits to participating countries and the development of the global IP network.
He also attended the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China in May 2017. That forum concluded with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government of China and the WIPO to enhance IP cooperation.
After two years, Gurry said the MOU "is being implemented in a proactive manner", as illustrated by several recent achievements.
The 2018 High-level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the BRI, organized by WIPO in cooperation with China National Intellectual Property Administration, National Copyright Administration of China, China's Ministry of Commerce and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality.
According to statistics from WIPO, in 2017, China moved into the second place as the top source of international patent applications filed with the WIPO, closing in on longtime leader the United States.
In 2018, Asia-based innovators filed more than half of all international patent applications via WIPO. For the first time, there was significant growth in applications from China, India and the Republic of Korea.
Gurry said he believes the consistent growth of international patent application filings via WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, from China "underlines the country's development and shift from a labor-intensive economy to one that is increasingly knowledge based".
"China is pursuing its objective to create an innovation-driven economy supported by an enabling IP system. We welcome this policy and we pay tribute to Chinese dynamism in its attainment," he said.