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World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013: Design Patent Highlights

Posted: Monday, Jun 2, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Tracy-Gene Durkin | No Comments »
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Posted in: Design Patents, Guest Contributors, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publishes a yearly report of the worldwide intellectual property filings. World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013 estimates draw from approximately 131 Patent offices, and include direct national and regional applications and those received through the Hague system of international registration. This analysis is a follow on from last year’s published here World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012: Design Patent Highlights.

The past decade has seen tremendous growth in design patent filings, increasing from 582,000 in 2004 to over 1,217,000 in 2012 worldwide. In 2012, the 17% growth over the prior year in applications was the highest one year growth seen since reporting started in 2004. Across the top 20 IP offices, those receiving the most filings in 2012, three-fourths saw a rise in applications over 2011. The overall growth of patents and trademarks, which reported a record year across the board, has persisted despite economic uncertainty in recent years.



Despite Scandals Francis Gurry Gets Second Term at WIPO

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 12 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, WIPO

Francis Gurry

Despite numerous scandals, without any objection and by consensus, the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appointed Francis Gurry to a second six-year term of office as Director General of the Organization on May 8, 2014.

WIPO is an agency of the United Nations, so I suppose a Gurry reappointment was to be expected. After all, the UN is poised to declare that the Catholic Church’s pro-life teachings are tantamount to torture, the UN has done absolutely nothing substantive to assist in the recovery of 300 girls kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Nigeria, the UN has historically always had extraordinary abusers of human rights on the Human Rights Council, such as Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China, to name but a few, and despite the fact that the UN knows that Russia rigged the annexation vote in Crimea, the organization is unwilling or simply incapable of stopping Vladamir Putin. All the while the UN never seems to miss an opportunity to demonstrate its anti-semitic nature — see here, here, here , here and here, just for starters.

So does it come as a shock to anyone that an intellectually and morally bankrupt organization like the United Nations would appoint Gurry for a second term? It doesn’t surprise me one bit.



Threats and Censorship WIPO Style

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 15 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, WIPO

I recently had hip replacement surgery on April 8, 2014. In preparation for being out for several weeks I wrote a few articles and had a number of guest contributions ready to publish. One of the last articles I wrote in advance of surgery was titled WIPO Deputy Director Alleges Gurry Misconduct. The article was published on IPWatchdog.com just several hours before my surgery. The article explained that the top ranking American Official at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), James Pooley, had filed an official complaint alleging misconduct by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. I provided the complaint and the exhibits. I suggested that readers read the documents themselves and form their own opinions.

Additionally, I pointed out that Pooley was not the only individual to make such a complaint. On February 5, 2014, Miranda Brown filed a complaint against the World Intellectual Property Organization with the International Labour Office Administrative Tribunal. Brown, a former Deputy Permanent Representative at the Australian Mission in Geneva, was most recently a Strategic Advisor to the WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. Her complaint sought a full, fair and open investigation into the DNA scandal, which she believes was improvidently quashed by Gurry.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to read the aforementioned article on IPWatchdog.com. After having received threats from the WIPO legal department I removed the article. Nevertheless, FOX News has a nice summary here: Top American official charges U.N. patent organization chief with ‘serious violations of national and international law’. You can see other articles relating to various Gurry scandals here, here, here and here.



WIPO Deputy Director Alleges Gurry Misconduct

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 @ 8:36 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 4 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, WIPO

ARTICLE REMOVED —

 

On April 11, 2014, I was contacted by Legal Counsel for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The communication alleged that publication of a complaint of misconduct and exhibits filed by the WIPO Deputy Director was defamatory and criminal under Swiss law. Legal action was threatened unless I immediately acquiesced to the demands. Here is the e-mail I received:

I am writing to you in my capacity as Legal Counsel of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in relation to a report and its accompanying exhibits (“WIPO Deputy Director General Alleges Gurry Misconduct”) that are posted on your website IP Watchdog.



WIPO Meets to Begin Selection of Next Director General

Posted: Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 @ 11:59 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 4 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Patents, WIPO

Francis Gurry (left) and Geoffrey Onyeama (right) are two of the four candidates for WIPO Director General.

We are now down to crunch time in the selection process for Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). During meetings held May 8 – 9, 2014, the General Assembly will decide who is appointed Director General for the next six-year term that will being October 1, 2014. But later this week we will have a clear indication about who that will likely be. The WIPO Coordination Committee will meet in Geneva on March 6 – 7, 2014, to nominate a candidate for appointment as the next Director General of WIPO. The four names up for consideration are: (1) Mr. Francis Gurry of Australia, who is the current Director General of WIPO; (2) Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, who is currently Deputy Director General, Development Sector, at WIPO; (3) Ambassador Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia; and (4) Ambassador Alfredo Suescum Alfaro of Panama.

On the surface it seems nearly unthinkable that the current Director General, Francis Gurry, would not be given a second term at the helm at WIPO. If you look at measurables and statistics WIPO appears to being running on all cylinders and doing a fantastic job of growing and coordinating the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which is no doubt WIPO’s primary function as an international body.

Behind the scenes there are several scandals lurking that could easily work to give both the Coordination Committee and Member States pause. Gurry was at the center of a politically ill conceived deal that sent computers to North Korea and Iran and he has been implicated in a bizarre DNA collection scheme that objectively seems to have been covered up by WIPO. The DNA scandal and cover-up has come back into the news recently as the result of a complaint filed by Miranda Brown, a former Deputy Permanent Representative at the Australian Mission in Geneva, and most recently a Strategic Advisor to Gurry. See Will Scandal Cost Gurry Second Term? 



Will Scandal Cost Francis Gurry a Second Term at WIPO?

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 @ 11:13 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, WIPO

Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General

On March 6 – 7, 2014, the WIPO Coordination Committee will meet in Geneva, Switzerland to nominate a candidate for appointment to post of Director General.  The four names up for consideration are: (1) Mr. Francis Gurry of Australia, who is the current Director General of WIPO; (2) Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, who is currently Deputy Director General, Development Sector, at WIPO; (3) Ambassador Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia; and (4) Ambassador Alfredo Suescum Alfaro of Panama.

Ultimately, in meetings held May 8 – 9, 2014, the General Assembly will decide who is appointed Director General for the next six-year term that will being October 1, 2014. Having said that, the importance of the nominating decision by the Coordination Committee cannot be understated. In the unlikely event that the candidate nominated by the Coordination Committee were not to be appointed the Coordination Committee would nominate another candidate, and the process would repeat until the General Assembly finally appoints a nominated candidate.

Despite some turmoil surrounding WIPO sending computers to North Korea and Iran, until several months ago no one really believed the appointment of the next WIPO Director General would be anything other than a foregone conclusion. By all outward appearances Francis Gurry is a personable and knowledgeable diplomat that has lead WIPO very well. Indeed, appointment for a second term seemed almost inevitable. But then a bizarre DNA scandal erupted and ensnared Gurry, and this scandal seemed to be of a wholly different magnitude than the computer deal that had previously raised the ire of the U.S. Congress. Unknown to WIPO employees Gurry apparently ordered the collection of DNA samples to attempt to identify who had sent letters complaining of Gurry financial improprieties and sexual harassment.



WIPO Watch: Is there a conspiracy against Francis Gurry?

Posted: Thursday, Dec 5, 2013 @ 4:51 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, WIPO

Francis Gurry

The deadline for nominating candidates for the position of Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization is fast approaching. The last day to nominate a candidate is Friday, December 6, 2013. Currently there are only three candidates nominated, they are: (1) Francis Gurry, the current Director General of WIPO; (2) Geoffrey Onyeama, who grew up in England, was educated at Oxford and is the current Deputy Director General of WIPO for the Development Sector; and (3) Ambassador Alfredo Suescum, a U.S. educated lawyer who has served as Ambassador to the United Nations on behalf of Panama, as well as holding numerous other diplomatic posts. Suescum is currently Chairman of the TRIPS Council in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In what should otherwise be a relatively benign news story, the election of the next Director General of WIPO is taking on a life almost of its own. Over the last several administrations WIPO has been plagued with scandals. For example, Kamil Idris, Director General of WIPO from from 1997 to 2008, was forced to step down a year early from the position due to allegations of misconduct.

When  Idris was under attack, then U.S. Ambassador Warren Tichenor, was quoted in the New York Times as follows: “The member states and the employees of WIPO deserve to have an organization that is led with the highest professional and ethical standards…”  In a 2008 interview published in Managing IP, Roland Grossenbacher, then chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization, explained: “WIPO is in a very, very difficult situation right now and needs someone willing and capable over the next years, to handle the operational business, not by rhetoric but by action. That includes effective technical cooperation with developing countries. Sound operational management has been lost under the leadership of Kamil Idris but it has to be restored.”



Why is Australia Re-Nominating Francis Gurry to Head WIPO?

Posted: Monday, Dec 2, 2013 @ 11:47 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, WIPO

Francis Gurry

Mary Kissel, a Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member, asked a simple question in this video segment of Fox News Editor-at Large George Russell: Why is Australia re-nominating Francis Gurry to head WIPO? Frankly, this is an excellent question. One might also ask why the Obama Administration has failed to back an alternative candidate despite being implored to do so by Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle?

Indeed, as recently as November 21, 2013, a letter was sent to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the Obama Administration to support an alternative candidate to become Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in light of the growing number of scandals engulfing Gurry. See DNA Scandal, Computers to North Korea & Iran, and Congress Unhappy.

A source with knowledge close to the situation has also told me that “there will be other shoes to drop; the DNA episode is not the last.”

To the outside world Gurry is affable, knowledgeable and a perfect ambassador of the benefits of intellectual property. Internally, however, he hides things and fosters conflict so that he can rise to the moment and come to the rescue. Indeed, aside from the various scandals WIPO appears to be an extremely dysfunctional workplace, which can only hinder the mission.