This brief description introduces the workings of AIPPI internationally, and how members of the Australian Group can become involved in the Association’s work.
AIPPI’s Aims and Purposes
The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) is the world’s leading international organisation dedicated to the development and improvement of intellectual property. It is a politically neutral, non-profit organisation, headquartered in Switzerland, which currently has almost 9000 members, representing more than 100 countries.
At AIPPI meetings Working Committees engage in discussions to achieve consensus on Resolutions representing the positions of AIPPI. The Resolutions are formulated at the World Intellectual Property Congress, held every year. The majority of attendees engage in the educational programme of the annual AIPPI Congress, which typically features a day of workshops on international IP related topics and two days of international workshops on contemporary IP Law issues. In addition, there are special panels of experts discussing current and future developments, mock trials, meetings of corporate representatives from industry and women in IP meetings.
AIPPI’s members (and thus attendees at meetings) are people actively interested in intellectual property protection at a national or international level. They include lawyers, patent and trade mark agents or attorneys and representatives from industrial corporations, IP owners and government officials as well as judges, academics, scientists and engineers.
The principal ‘output’ is the Resolutions, which, because of the representative nature of the membership, and the ‘working methods’, is intended to be a truly worldwide answer to an intellectual property issue of current concern. The Resolutions are the end product of a collaboration of individual country reports generated from their study of the relevant Questions. Over 700 Resolutions have been passed by AIPPI to date. These Resolutions are provided to significant Governmental Organisations, such as WIPO, WTO and National Patent and Trade Mark Offices. In this way AIPPI seeks to influence national or treaty policies on intellectual property.
There are generally three core Working Questions each year. A international Working Committee is formed with a Chairman, co-Chairman, Secretary and a number of Members, for each Question.
The Reporter General’s team set the Questions each year. The Reporters – together with the Chairman of the Working Committee – synthesise the National Groups’ reports into a summary document. The Working Committee members then prepare a draft Resolution to be the subject of debate. This discussion takes place during the early part of AIPPI’s international meetings, and involves the Working Committee members, as well as the Delegates appointed by the respective National Groups. From an Australian view point, the Delegates are usually chosen from among the authors of the Australian Group’s Report to the questionnaire.
After the Committee–level deliberations, the draft resolutions are debated at plenary sessions, where the draft resolutions are (usually) amended after often vigorous debated. A final vote is taken by the Executive Committee on the resultant version of the Resolution. The Resolution is either adopted (possibly even in a yet further amended form) or rejected. If rejected, the Working Questions may be remitted to the Working Committee.
Aside from the Working Groups that help develop the Resolutions, AIPPI also has standing Committees that address either matters of arising urgency or longer term issues, such as the role of IP in assisting developing countries, IT related issues and the like.
Australian Working Groups
If interested in participating in preparation of the Reports for the Australian Group, please contact the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
The executive officers of the international body of AIPPI are the members of the “Bureau”. The President and Vice President are, by statute, nominated by the National Group that will hold the next and next but one Congress, respectively. The Treasurer General, Secretary General team (5 people) and Reporter General team (5 people) are elected positions.
The Australian Committee
The Executive of the Australian Group is formed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Executive is assisted by at least six other Committee members.
The immediate possibilities to become involved with the work of AIPPI is to assist with the Australian Group’s activities, that is:
- serve on the Committee
- author reports on Working Questions
- attend the Congresses