Judiciaries and Intellectual Property

WIPO supports judiciaries in dealing with the novel legal questions that often arise from intellectual property (IP) disputes in a rapidly changing technological environment. The WIPO Judicial Institute and relevant WIPO sectors work with judges from around the world to create a space for dialogue and exchange of information and practices, to deliver capacity building activities, and to increase the availability of information about IP and courts.

Our work is guided by an Advisory Board of Judges who represent broad geographical and technical coverage. Members serve in their personal capacity for two year terms.

  • Annabelle BENNETT, Former Judge, Federal Court of Australia, Sydney, Australia (Chair);
  • Mohamed Mahmoud AL KAMALI, Director General, Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;
  • Colin BIRSS, Justice, High Court of England and Wales, London, United Kingdom;
  • Edgardo Mateo ETTLIN GUAZZO, Minister, Court of Appeals, Montevideo, Uruguay;
  • Klaus GRABINSKI, Judge, Federal Court of Justice, Karlsruhe, Germany;
  • Louis T.C. HARMS, Former Deputy President, Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein, South Africa;
  • KI Woojong, Judge, Seoul High Court, Republic of Korea;
  • Marie-Françoise MARAIS, Former Judge, Court of Cassation, Paris, France;
  • Maria Rowena MODESTO-SAN PEDRO, Associate Justice of the Court of Tax Appeals, Quezon City, Philippines;
  • Max Lambert NDÉMA ELONGUÉ, President, Court of First Instance, Yaoundé Ekounou, Cameroon;
  • Kathleen M. O’MALLEY, Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington D.C., United States of America;
  • Manmohan SINGH, Chairman, Intellectual Property Appellate Board, New Delhi; Former Judge, High Court of Delhi, India;
  • Misao SHIMIZU, Former Chief Judge, Intellectual Property High Court, Tokyo, Japan;
  • TAO Kaiyuan, Justice, Vice President, Supreme People’s Court, Beijing, China;
  • Vesna TODOROVIĆ, Judge, Commercial Appellate Court, Belgrade, Serbia.

Video: Director General Francis Gurry explains WIPO's program for supporting judiciaries.

WIPO's role

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IP Judges Forum

The annual WIPO Intellectual Property Judges Forum, held in Geneva, creates a global space for exchange of experiences and good practices among national judiciaries from around the world.

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(Photo: GETTY IMAGES/GAJUS)

Capacity building

WIPO provides capacity-building activities to support judges, both by delivering activities in jurisdictions that have been less exposed to IP cases in the past, and by bringing together experienced IP judges for an annual Master Class.

(Image: Getty Images/OstapenkoOlena)

Source of information

WIPO aims to build a global repository of information on judicial systems and decisions in the field of IP.

Topics and issues

Private international law

IP infringements routinely impact on multiple territories, resulting in questions of jurisdiction, applicable law, and enforcement and recognition of foreign judgments.

A closer look at specialized intellectual property courts

Whilst not obligatory, there is a trend to specialize or centralize the handling of certain types of IP disputes. When is it advantageous or necessary to establish specialized IP courts?

3D printing, the Maker Revolution, IP litigation and legal reform

Although personal 3D printing has not developed as anticipated, industrial 3D printing is playing a bigger role in advanced manufacturing.  Professor Matthew Rimmer takes a look at recent developments in IP litigation and policy with respect to 3D printing.