World Chambers Federation

ICC stages workshop with leading IP organization

  • 25 September 2008

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held their first joint intellectual property (IP) workshop for chambers of commerce and other business support organizations on 15-16 September.

The workshop, which took place at WIPO headquarters in Geneva, was well attended, with over 50 people from chambers of commerce, business support organizations, companies, universities, government agencies, and law firms participating from 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The effective management of IP has become a key driving force for the success of companies in domestic and international markets. Increasingly, chambers of commerce and other business support organizations are taking concrete measures to create awareness and assist their local businesses make effective use of IP assets to increase their competitiveness.

The aim of the workshop was to provide participants with the tools necessary to set up successful intellectual property programmes for local businesses. The workshop is also part of ICC’s initiative to develop an IP tool-kit for chambers of commerce.

“IP will be an increasingly important strategic tool for businesses in the years to come,” said Pere Vicens, Vice-Chair of the ICC World Chambers Federation, at the opening of the meeting. “The diverse regional participation in this meeting demonstrates that businesses all over the world share this belief. As countries move up the production chain, they rely increasingly on intangible assets to create value and to be competitive.”

Entrepreneurs, such as Joanne Morgan, the inventor of the Faveo “Freedom Bra,” and executives from Microsoft and Philips explained how their companies have used the IP system to develop, commercialize, and protect their innovations and brand names. Other speakers described methods to protect intellectual assets and explained how to use these assets to raise capital.

Chambers of commerce and other business support institutions from France, Uruguay, Italy, Switzerland, South Korea, and Mongolia, as well as the Hungarian Patent Office and the European Patent Office, shared information on their activities in place to help businesses better access the IP system.

During the workshop, Daphne Yong-d’Hervé, Senior Policy Manager of the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property, announced plans to prepare a manual, in collaboration with WIPO, to help chambers of commerce set up IP programmes.