The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) consists of 191 member states globally. These member states directly govern the activities of the Organization in terms of budget and direction. The WIPO mainly serves to protect the intellectual property of people on a individual, business and governmental basis. The goal of the Organization is to increase the spread and encouragement of intellectual property protection.
The topics before the World Intellectual Property Organization are “Defining and Measuring Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property” and “Protecting Indigenous People’s Intellectual Property in Documenting Traditional Medical Knowledge”.Defining and Measuring Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property According to the WIPO, intellectual property is referred to the ownership of any creations to the mind including inventions, literary works and names/images used for commercial purposes. The organization further divides the general intellectual property into industrial property and copyright. The former is expressed when an individual or company owns a patent for invention or trademark while the latter is demonstrated through literary works such as books, films, artistic displays, music and design. The rights of intellectual property allow individuals to use their own work or investment to gain personal benefit. More importantly, these rights are explicitly defined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and allow the right to personal gain from the production of productions.
Intellectual property is promoted to enhance the rate at which inventions are being discovered and increase the progress of humanity in the areas of technology and medicine. The promotion of intellectual property also leads to an evident economic growth, causing an increase in employment rates and enhancement to quality of life. Since the recognition of Intellectual Property(IP) at the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883 and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1886, countries have since created laws to protect IP.
The protection of IP allows the recognition of individuals and their respective innovations, inventions and creations. Creativity and innovation are also strongly promoted through the protection of IP and effectively lead to social and economic development on a long term basis. Access to Knowledge (A2K) is a reference to the rights that an individual has when creating, administering and obtaining raw information. A2K is best described as a group of civil societies and governments coming together and agreeing on an idea that access to knowledge should be open to the public. This includes individuals acquiring access to government intel and participating in civic affairs. Russia isn’t specifically known for protecting the intellectual property rights of individuals and has been quite the opposite. According to the U.
S Trade Representative “Special 301 Notorious Markets”, Russia, among other countries, engages in significant intellectual property rights violations. However, U.S firms have been attempting at protecting their IP in Russia by introducing trademarks with the Rospatent(Federal Service for Intellectual Property) and by also recording intellectual property in the Russian Federal Customs Service’s IPR Register. Inhabiting the “Special 301 Priority Watch List”, Russia faces challenges in copyright infringement, trademark counterfeiting and non-transparent collecting society procedures.
Although anti-piracy laws have been implemented, online piracy still poses a threat to IP in Russia.II. Protecting Indigenous People’s Intellectual Property in Documenting Traditional Medical KnowledgeTraditional Medicine (TM) consists of many health care services and products that have been used over a long period of time. The term accommodates the knowledge of medicine developed by indigenous and native cultures as it includes techniques which are designed to treat illnesses through plants, animals and spiritual therapies. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) focuses on the person as a whole and usually supplements conventional medicine with emotional and spiritual treatment such as meditation and yoga. Naturally-occurring products like herbs and vitamins are used as well to help treat illnesses in people. The implementation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) could help indigenous people tremendously as they currently experience exploitation to their intellectual property. The IPRs would mean that the indigenous people would have a documented record of their creations and discoveries in terms of natural medicine, decreasing the likelihood of governmental exploitation.