This advanced course represents the third and highest level of learning on intellectual property (IP) as part of the progressive learning strategy of the WTO. Participants are expected to have undergone previous courses at level two, including through distance learning courses offered by WIPO and the WTO on IP.

The course is also in conformity with the mandate of the WIPO Academy which is to provide IP education and training (www.wipo.int/academy/en).

The main objective of the course is to update government officials on the activities and instruments of WIPO and the WTO, and to provide a forum for them to exchange information and ideas with the two Secretariats and with a range of policymakers and organizations based in Geneva.

The course forms part of an overall strategy to build sufficient capacity within the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to assess and analyze their policy options and to strengthen national expertise in relation to intellectual property.

The course is designed to equip the participants with the necessary tools to help formulate policies that will facilitate the development process in their respective countries. In addition, it will enable participants to work together with other stakeholders in their constituencies to attain efficiency, and higher use and management of IP.

Twenty participants were selected from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Five additional officials from developed countries were also selected and will participate at their own expense.

Participants are from: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Georgia, Jamaica, Kenya, Latvia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

The course consists of a combination of presentations followed by discussion sessions, panel deliberations, as well as practical exercises on a wide range of issues. These issues include, inter alia: IP law, policy and development; the principal international treaties and conventions governing IP; IP and its relation to economic development, public health, technology transfer, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, folklore, climate change and competition policy.

The current international developments in the fields of copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, patents and plant variety protection will also be explored. The WTO Dispute Settlement System and TRIPS, IP enforcement, as well as technical assistance and capacity building in the area of IP will also be covered.

During the course, participants will benefit from sessions involving WTO TRIPS Council delegates dealing with different IP issues as well as experts from a range of intergovernmental organizations, civil society, business and industry, including: the World Health Organization (WHO), International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United National Environment Programme (UNEP), Médecins sans Frontières, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association (IFPMA), the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), General Electric, Inovent Innovative Ventures and Reuteler & Cie SA.

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