Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved diplomatic conferences on two proposed international instruments: agreement on protection of industrial designs to facilitate cross-border trade, and pact on intellectual property, genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.
After years of negotiations on both topics, the WIPO General Assembly decided to hold special rounds of negotiations where agreements could be concluded - for each project no later than 2024.
The proposed Design Law Treaty (DLT) is designed to help developers protect their designs simply, quickly and cheaply, both domestically and internationally. The document will streamline the global system for protecting designs, an integral part of many brands, by eliminating red tape and expediting procedures for granting protection.
If approved, these changes will benefit the design community, particularly those with smaller operations and more limited access to legal assistance for registering their designs. In particular, the DL will make it much easier to secure protection for designs abroad from low- and middle-income countries.
An international legal instrument on intellectual property, genetic resources, and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources would address a number of issues relating to access to, use of, and sharing of the benefits derived from these resources and knowledge systems. For example, one of the main ideas supported by many states is that patent applicants whose inventions use genetic resources and associated trademarks should disclose this and other relevant information in their patent applications.
Other ideas include greater use of databases with information on genetic resources and trademarks, which would be useful to patent examiners to avoid erroneous patent granting.