Home / Global issues & trends / Innovation & IP / Intellectual Property / Intellectual property and new challenges

Intellectual property continues to be a dynamic and constantly evolving field, closely tied to technological, economic, political and social changes. Through ICC, business works with governments and other stakeholders to develop solutions to new challenges confronting the intellectual property system.

  • Domain names

With the explosive growth of the Internet, domain names have become valuable assets to businesses serving as business identifiers that may conflict with already existing business identifiers (e.g. trademarks, geographical indications, trade names, etc.).

Through domain names, businesses can establish Internet presence and attract Internet users worldwide.

When building upon strong trademarks, businesses seek to register and use the domain names identical to or incorporating their trademarks under Top Level Domains relevant to their businesses.

Problems may occur when domain names incorporating trademarks or variations thereto are registered by others, including by cyber squatters.

ICC sensitizes business to intellectual property issues in relation to domain name issues in the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap, through its work in the Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms and through conferences. store.iccwbo.org/

  • Client privilege for IP advice

The client legal privilege protecting communications between a party and his legal adviser is a fundamental principle in most common-law countries. However, advice on intellectual property matters is often not covered by client legal privilege because IP advisers in many countries are not necessarily legal professionals. Countries not using a common-law system also generally do not recognize the concept of privilege.

Government agencies, companies and individuals are all confronted with, use or own intellectual property rights (IPRs) and each of those may have to assess IPR-related legal issues by obtaining the advice of IP professionals. They need the best and most complete advice that can be obtained to clearly understand those rights and guide their actions regarding them. That means that clients must have full and frank exchanges with their respective IP advisers. To achieve this, exchanges have to remain confidential and be protected from forcible disclosure, even in court.

The present law, particularly internationally, does not ensure the fundamental protection from forcible disclosure of confidential exchanges between clients and their IP advisers.

It would therefore be very advantageous to have an appropriate international instrument by which minimum standards of protection against forcible disclosure of professional IP advice and mutual recognition of such protection are assured internationally. This would assist in effecting the rule of law and help render the IP system more transparent, predictable and efficient for all those assessing and using IPRs.

  • Climate change

Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution, particularly given the wide range of impacts and interconnectivity of solutions required.

Both will require major changes in business operations and lifestyles. For both, innovation will be vital.

The development and deployment of existing and advanced technologies, by both private and public sectors, is fundamental to meet the challenge of mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as future commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Intellectual property rights, particularly patents and trade secrets, provide the primary means for ensuring necessary private sector investment in the invention, development and deployment of the technologies needed to reduce emissions.