For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

So, confidentially, what DO you think of WIPO?

A rare first: the IPKat
keeps his 
comments  
on WIPO to himself
You may have been waiting for years to tell the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) what you think of it.  If so, your chance has come. WIPO informs him that subscribers to "one or several WIPO e-newsletters" will by now have received a circular entitled "Survey on Stakeholder Perceptions of WIPO".  This tells them that WIPO
"...  seeks to deliver high quality services and fully engage with all its stakeholders. In an effort to better understand our stakeholders’ expectations and perceptions, and to evaluate and improve our external communications, we are carrying out a perceptions survey
Your insights will help us engage more effectively with our stakeholders and the overall IP community. The survey should take less than fifteen minutes of your valuable time. 
The survey is being conducted by a specialized research firm [it's called Zoomerang] on behalf of WIPO. All information gathered will be treated confidentially [well, that's half the fun gone already, moans Merpel] and reported to WIPO in aggregate form only. 
We hope that you will take this opportunity to help us shape our future communications efforts for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We are grateful for your participation".
The circular concludes with the ever-so-slightly hopeful line: "Thank you for your continuing support of WIPO".

This member of the IPKat team hopes that his readers will complete the survey. He has already done so: it took him 18 minutes rather than the 15 mentioned in the circular, but that was because it forced him to do quite a bit of serious thinking.  Some of the questions are politically sensitive and rather surprised him.  For example
Who do you believe is the global leader in the protection and promotion of IP? 
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Don’t know
  • Other, please specify
In his lecturing days, this Kat used to mention how some United Nations Agencies appeared to be in favour of IP, others against it and others again both for and against it. Might this survey mark the beginning of a re-think as to whether the interests of IP creators, their competitors, consumers and beneficiaries can be better balanced across the spread of international agency portfolios?

An even more difficult question was this one:
Who do you believe is the global leader in the provision of IP-related products and services?
  • European Patent Office (EPO)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO)
  • Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
  • Japan Patent Office (JPO)
  • Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM)
  • Don’t know
  • Other, please specify
In one sense there is no comparison of like with like, yet each of the bodies listed above exercises a strong gravitational pull and respondents' answers may depend on how they understand the concept of the "global leader": is it the body which leads right across the world, or is it the body which, out of all the organisations in the world, does the most leading within its own sphere of influence?

Other questions boldly ask respondents about their use of blogs and online resources, how (in)effective they find WIPO's services, which adjectives best fit the organisation's operations and its responsiveness, and so on.

This Kat urges readers who use WIPO's services and/or read its publications to respond to the call and complete the survey. We all have our views, which we express to each other both publicly and privately, but this time WIPO is carefully listening.  Let's not let this opportunity pass.

Illustration at top right from Cat Confidential, which you can purr-chase here

6 comments:

Hans Sachs said...

I would have thought that the question about "Who do you believe is the global leader in the protection and promotion of IP?" would have included the possibility of selecting amongst:

- RIAA
- MPAA
- IFPI
- www.iipa.com/
- US Chamber of Commerce
- USTR
- USPTO
- US ICE
- US DOJ

Surely it is unfair to these assiduous organizations to slight them them so obviously, and this raises questions about the quality and objectivity of the survey itself and the accuracy of the results ;-)

Andrew Robinson said...

Well, there was a write-in box for who we thought were global leaders in the protection and promotion of IP, so I typed MPAA/RIAA in there.

Hans Sachs said...

Maybe there also should be a category for individuals who are or have been "global leaders"... such as:

- Sonny Bono
- Jack Valenti
- Lamar Smith
- Chris Dodd
- Mitch Glazier
- Kamil Idris
- Dotcom

Anonymous said...

Is there any reason why the IPKat is mentioned by name in the survey? What about PatentlyO, the Trademark Blog, Spicy IP and all the rest?

Come to think of it, why are all the sources in English? Do readers from other linguistic backgrounds get a different set of options?

Michael Factor said...

I believe there is a problem with WIPO, that, it sees a need to help
develop IP rights where none existed previously.

Instead of trying to reduce copyright protection to sensible lengths of time to promote rather than to stifle cultural development, it is agitating to create IP rights for traditional knowledge, that if successful in creating an appropriate treaty, will in all probability simply result in such knowledge becoming lost for good due to the problems of negotiating licenses to do anything with that knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Copyright protection goes on a little too long, but I don't see how it stifles innovation. Is the everlasting existence of Cliff Richard preventing the release of a less annoying version of 'Summer Holiday'? Or, is the frog's chorus forbidden from singing about their red-coloured submarine home because of a beetle?

As for WIPO, why do its employees not spend their mornings staring out of the windows? Because they wouldn't have anything to do in the afternoons! The old one's are always the best ones, though copyright law should have prevented me from repeating that joke.

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