Focus on AIPPI: Changing for the 21st Century

Change_aheadWith a deep history as a pre-eminent global IP organization, AIPPI embraces change to strengthen its role in the 21st century, as its President explains.

The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, generally known as AIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle), is a politically neutral, non-profit organization domiciled in Switzerland and having almost 9,000 members from more than 100 countries. Its history dates from 1897, shortly following the period when the Paris Convention was conceived and signed.

Throughout its history, the objective of AIPPI has been to improve and promote the protection of intellectual property on both an international and national basis. It is composed of 64 national groups and 1 regional group, as well as independent members from areas of the world in which there is no national or regional group.

Membership is open to all people interested in intellectual property. The membership is predominantly composed of lawyers, patent attorneys and trademark agents, although judges, scientists and engineers are also within the membership. The membership also includes industry members from corporations.

In its first 50 years, and notwithstanding interruptions from the two World Wars, AIPPI provided the platform for international harmonization efforts and the conclusion of treaties and revisions to treaties such as the Paris Convention. Since the 1960’s, with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and its predecessor BIRPI having assumed principal responsibility for the administration of international treaties, AIPPI has continued to provide the resources and platform for the study and harmonization of intellectual property law issues on an international basis.

Structure of AIPPI

The Bureau of AIPPI officially has nine members, although it normally sits in its enlarged form with six additional members who are Assistants to either the Secretary General or the Reporter General. The Bureau acts as a managing board.

The principal decision-making body of AIPPI is the Executive Committee. This is comprised of delegates from all of the Groups, as well as Members of the Bureau and Members who have become Members of Honor. The Executive Committee meets on an annual basis, and constitutes about 300 individuals in number.

AIPPI also has a Council of Presidents, predominantly made up of Presidents of the Groups. Further, AIPPI meets every two years in a General Assembly in which all members have a right to participate.

The administration of AIPPI is in Zurich in a General Secretariat which is responsible for supporting many of the activities of AIPPI, including the organization of its meetings. Much of the activity within the General Secretariat is overseen by the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General.

Meetings of AIPPI

The principal meeting open to all Members is called a Congress and takes place every two years in the autumn. A Congress just took place in October, 2012 in Seoul, Korea.

The Congress is a four-day meeting (with several days beforehand devoted to meetings of Committees and the Bureau). It provides a varied program, which in recent years has included workshops, including…… click here to subscribe and read the whole article