AIPPI’s (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) Forum & ExCo is being held in Helsinki. AIPPI is concerned with all types of intellectual property rights (including patents, trademarks, and copyrights).
AIPPI It is the oldest global association for the protection of intellectual property and has the respect and ear of governments and global organizations, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. Since it was founded in 1897, AIPPI has been consulted (and still is) by decision makers worldwide on current intellectual property issues.
Aims and Purpose
The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, generally known under the abbreviated name AIPPI, is the world’s leading International Organization dedicated to the development and improvement of the regimes for the protection of intellectual property.
It is a politically neutral, non-profit organization, domiciled in Switzerland which currently has almost 9000 Members representing more than 100 countries.
The objective of AIPPI is to improve and promote the protection of intellectual property on both an international and national basis. It pursues this objective by working for the development, expansion and improvement of international and regional treaties and agreements and also of national laws relating to intellectual property.
It operates by conducting studies of existing national laws and proposes measures to achieve harmonisation of these laws on an international basis. In this context AIPPI has become increasingly concerned with issues concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
The History of AIPPI
AIPPI dates back to 1897, shortly following the signature of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in the year 1883. Following the initiative of leading legal scientists and practitioners a founders meeting was held in Brussels on May 8, 1897 and in October 1897 the first Congress was convened in Vienna with subsequent festivities in Budapest. Congresses were held annually in the early stages, later alternating with “Reunions”, until the beginning of the First World War dictated an interruption in 1914.
The revival of the Association took place in 1925. Under the leadership of the Swiss Patent Attorney, Eugen Blum, the centre of gravity of AIPPI moved to Switzerland.
As a consequence of the Second World War, the activities of the Association suffered a second interruption from 1938 to 1946. The development of AIPPI to its present form has been a continual one. Starting with an emphasis on Western Europe it has become a truly international Association, including North and South America, Eastern European countries, Asia, Australia and Africa.
In 1997 AIPPI celebrated its Centennial in Vienna and Budapest. In its long history, AIPPI has adopted more than 700 Resolutions and Reports. The presentation of these Resolutions and Reports to international Governmental Organizations, in particular the WIPO, has contributed considerably to the development, improvement and harmonization of the international protection of Intellectual Property.
Recently AIPPI has revised and improved its Statutes and Regulations (which are available in English, French and German) in order to meet not only the challenges present in the IP field but also the needs of the Membership.
The Organization of AIPPI
The Members of AIPPI are people actively interested in intellectual property protection on a national or international level.
They include lawyers, patent attorneys and trademark agents as well as judges, scientists and engineers. They also include corporations.
AIPPI is organized into 64 National and one Regional Groups and membership is obtained by joining one of these Groups. In countries where no Group exists, membership is obtained as an Independent Member in the international organization.
The primary international bodies of AIPPI are:
- the General Assembly, in which all Members have a right to participate and which is responsible for adopting and modifying the Statutes;
- the Executive Committee, made up of Delegates of all of the Groups – around 300 in number; this is the principal decision-making body of AIPPI;
- the Council of Presidents, made up of the Presidents of the Groups plus a representative of the Independent Members; and
- the Bureau which directs the activities of AIPPI; it is formed of eight Members including the President of AIPPI who chairs the Bureau and the Vice President; the Secretary General and a Deputy who, with three Assistants, are responsible for administration and representation; the Reporter General and two Deputies who, with three Assistants, organize the substantive work of the Association; and a Treasurer General who is in charge of financial resources.
The General Secretariat and staff have offices in Zurich, Switzerland.
Among the more important Standing Committees are the Programme Committee which recommends to the Executive Committee the subjects for study; the Finance Advisory Committee which acts as an internal auditor; and the Nominating Committee which proposes candidates for the various elective offices.
The Meetings of AIPPI
A Congress open to all Members is scheduled every two years. Normally, about 2000 Members attend with around 1000 accompanying persons. Recent venues include Melbourne, Geneva, Gothenburg, Boston and Paris. The 2012 Congress will be held in Incheon (Rep. of Korea). This two-year cycle is a change from the previous three-year cycle and responds to the increasing pace of international developments. At a Congress, pending Questions concerning international law are discussed and decisions taken on a consensus basis. At the same time, a Congress serves as a forum for workshops which offer valuable educational programs for the participants.
The Executive Committee convenes at each Congress and also in the years in between. The Council of Presidents also meets annually during each Congress and each intervening Executive Committee Meeting. This provides continuity of broadly based decision taking.
AIPPI has instituted a Forum which will meet every other year immediately preceding an Executive Committee Meeting. These are open to all Members but also to Non-Members and provide educational programs of current interest as well as networking among participants.