Industry Updates

The Green Side of IP: WIPO GREEN Advisory Board Meeting Showcases Program’s Accomplishments

Published: December 18, 2020

Note: This is part of our ongoing series to update brand owners on online service providers’ efforts to curb counterfeiting and represents our collaborative initiatives to fight the proliferation of counterfeit goods online and elsewhere.

You know about the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as the specialized UN agency that promotes and protects intellectual property (IP) worldwide by administering international treaties and hosting the Madrid Registry for international trademark registrations. But did you know that in 2013, WIPO created an online platform for technology exchange called WIPO GREEN to connect providers and seekers of green technology and innovation as a way to address and solve pressing environmental and social issues in specific regions?

Not even a decade old, WIPO GREEN is going strong, as evidenced by updates about its accomplishments presented at its 8th Annual Advisory Board Meeting on December 9.

The program has 118 partners, including large and small companies, universities, governmental agencies, and trademark offices. Among the partners, the Japan Patent Office was one of the original proponents of WIPO GREEN, and remains very much involved in its work.

Additionally, INTA is a partner and, in 2019, the Association and WIPO entered a memorandum of understanding to cooperate and promote the core message of this program, particularly through INTA’s Brands for a Better Society Committee.

The creation of this unique technology exchange platform highlights the important role that IP and innovation have in solving our most pressing global issues, and that collaboration is key for the effective application of these solutions.

Even if WIPO GREEN is not as well known yet as some of WIPO’s other programs, updates given at this year’s advisory board meeting prove its success. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges around the world in 2020, WIPO GREEN has had a watershed year with a 50 percent increase in page views on its website to 166,000+, and a general uptrend in interest from stakeholders.

The platform has more than 3,800 posted technologies (providers and those in need of technology), which have led to more than 700 matched parties for future cooperation. Notably, the platform has more technology providers offering solutions than seekers of solutions. Therefore, it is calling on its partners to promote the recruitment of parties in need of green technologies and solutions.

In 2020, some of the program’s main projects concerned the improvement of the platform and database to facilitate the matching of technology providers and seekers, increased engagement with stakeholders and partners, and improved communication of WIPO GREEN’s projects.

One of the most prominent WIPO GREEN initiatives this year was the Acceleration Project that has been exploring potential green technology solutions in agriculture in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Interestingly, the countries’ Patent and Trademark Offices proposed the climate-smart agriculture initiative.

As 2021 unfolds, WIPO GREEN’s focus will continue to be on global health, climate change, and food security. In terms of its functions, it will look at finalizing a database update, continuing its partner engagement initiatives, and raising awareness of its important initiatives.

Harnessing IP and innovation to create more sustainable business processes, as well as improvements in environmental stewardship and a more equitable society, will only increase in importance and aiding this process is a worthy priority for any public institution.

WIPO GREEN is always looking for partners with IP expertise or technologies to offer, as well as suggestions of stakeholders in need of solutions. If you would like to get involved learn more at  WIPO GREEN or contact [email protected].

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

© 2020 International Trademark Association