WIPO Director General Candidates Episode 1: The Future of the IP Legal System and its Governance

Published: February 25, 2020

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Marco M. Alemán Director, Patent Law Division, World Intellectual Property Organization Geneva, Switzerland

This episode is part of a special series of interviews with candidates for the position of Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

This just in: On March 4, the Coordination Committee at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated Daren Tang of Singapore for the post of WIPO Director General. Next step: Action by the WIPO General Assembly on May 7-8.

Intellectual property (IP) rights have always been challenged by new technologies and new market trends, but the pace and depth of these challenges have increased over the last decade or so. In particular, groundbreaking technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, or even life science innovations have a disruptive impact on traditional IP legal concepts and systems.

Our guest shares his views on the future of the IP legal system and its governance, at a time when the number of patents and trademarks registrations indicate a rising demand for IP rights globally, confirming a global shift towards an “economy of knowledge,” with entirely new business lines thriving without almost any tangible assets – think software and algorithms, operating systems, or social media.

Marco Matias Alemán is a Colombian lawyer who has spent the last 28 years in the IP world, as an IP attorney in a law firm, as Head of the Colombian Industrial Property Office (1995-1998), and at the policy level, holding several positions at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) in Geneva since 1999.  Currently, he is the Director of the Patent Law Division at WIPO.

Mr. Alemán is also one of the remaining six candidates for the position of WIPO’s Director General. The Director General will be nominated in March 2020 and appointed in May 2020, for a term beginning October 1, 2020.

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