Aims and Purpose
AIPPI's objective is to improve and promote the protection of intellectual property on both international and national bases. It pursues this objective by working for the development, expansion and improvement of international and regional treaties and agreements and national laws relating to intellectual property.
It operates by conducting studies of existing national laws and proposes measures to achieve harmonization of these laws on an international basis. Where appropriate, AIPPI intervenes with submissions before major courts and legislative bodies to advocate for strengthened IP protection.
This video by Isabelle Chabot is a great introduction to the work conducted by AIPPI.
The Organization of AIPPI
Members of AIPPI are individuals interested in intellectual property protection on a national or international level.
They include lawyers, patent attorneys, patent agents and trademark agents, as well as judges, scientists and engineers. They also include corporations.
AIPPI is organized into 68 National and 2 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 fourteen members including the President of AIPPI (who chairs the Bureau) and two Vice Presidents;
- the Secretary General and two Deputies who, with one Assistant, are responsible for administration and representation;
- the Reporter General and two Deputies who, with three Assistants, organize the substantive work of the Association;
- a Treasurer General who is in charge of financial resources.
The General Secretariat and its staff have an office in Zurich, Switzerland.
AIPPI has the following Statutory Committees: the Programme Committee which recommends to the Executive Committee the subjects for study; the Finance Committee which acts as an internal auditor; the Nominating Committee which proposes candidates for the various elective offices; the Membership Committee which acts as a bridge between the membership and the Bureau; the Communications Committee which disseminates information about AIPPI and its activities; and the Venue Selection Committee which proposes venues for future AIPPI annual meetings (Congresses).
A World Congress open to all members is held annually, in September or October. Normally, about 2000 members attend with accompanying persons. Recent venues include Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Cancun. The 2019 World Congress was held in London, England. This annual cycle is a change from the previous two-year cycle and is a response to the increasing pace of international developments.
At a World Congress, pending Study Questions concerning international law are discussed and decisions taken on a consensual basis. At the same time, a World Congress serves as a forum for an Educational Programme, offering a Professional Development Programme with valuable educational sessions.
The Executive Committee convenes at each Congress. The Council of Presidents also meets annually during each Congress.
AIPPI publishes (electronically) the results of its substantive work in a Yearbook, prepared after each International Meeting.
In order to keep the membership informed, the General Secretariat publishes a Newsletter four times per year. It includes executive summaries of the most recent international developments as well as articles on administrative matters.
This website has become an indispensable tool for anyone interested in intellectual property. The Library, for example, contains all substantive Study Questions which are currently being considered, as well as those which have been considered since AIPPI's founding in 1897. The website also includes reports of AIPPI Representatives to various meetings and information on international, regional and national meetings, along with a list of officers and committee chairs and members.
The entire membership list is also on a protected site for members only.
The Working Methods of AIPPI
Under the supervision of the Reporter General and the Chairman of the Programme Committee, AIPPI conducts its substantive work, namely, the study of issues of topical concern in the IP world.
Once the Annual Work Programme is established, Study Committees are formed to study each pending Study Question (SQ).
The Reporter General team prepares Guidelines which the Groups follow in preparing their individual Reports. The Reports are then synthesized by the Reporter General team into a Summary Report.
These Reports and the Summary Report are the basis for the Study Committees in the preparation of Draft Resolutions which are then discussed at Congresses. When a consensus is achieved, a final Resolution (Plenary Approved SQ Resolution) is prepared for adoption by the Executive Committee.
Over 700 Resolutions have been passed by AIPPI. With those Resolutions, AIPPI has had a major influence on the development of international IP Law.
AIPPI’s Resolutions are published in English, French and German and sent to WIPO, WTO and patent and trade mark offices around the world.
Standing Committees guarantee that AIPPI is promptly informed about current developments in specific fields and monitor the long range projects of international legal development.
The representatives of AIPPI act as its ambassadors, liaise with all important international Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations and promote mutual coordination and cooperation.
AIPPI has regular high level contacts with international and regional institutions. In particular, AIPPI has annual meetings with the Director General of WIPO, enabling AIPPI to take account of WIPO’s proposals in AIPPI’s working agenda, as well as with major IP offices.
Furthermore, AIPPI meets regularly with officers of other NGO’s to discuss issues of mutual interest.
AIPPI endeavors to promote the development of national law in International Forums and Symposia and by direct consultation, in particular in developing countries.
These coordinated efforts for improving and harmonizing IP protection at international meetings often lead to relationships beyond the purely professional, which in turn deepen mutual understanding across national borders.
The primary purpose of AIPPI is to undertake study of IP laws. This attracts to AIPPI’s meetings leading practitioners, corporations, academics and other parties interested in IP from all over the world. Naturally, these meetings, at which issues are discussed and worked on in small groups and in plenary sessions, interspersed with social functions, provide an excellent opportunity for members to meet and build personal and professional relationships.
What has AIPPI achieved for the benefit of Intellectual Property Owners and Users?
Some important examples are as follows:
- Promotion of Revisions of the Paris Conventions leading to enormous improvement in the protection of industrial property during the 20th century.
- The establishment of the Trade Marks Law Treaty (which is the result of an AIPPI initiative).
- The passing of Resolutions (such as the test for the Experimental Use exception in patent law) which are cited as authority on what the law should be in some jurisdictions.
- Delegations of AIPPI are recognized as active participants in all major international and regional discussions on intellectual property law projects – viz. Patent Law Treaty, European Community Patent Convention, Directive of the European Union on Biotechnology, the Hague Agreement and the Madrid Protocol, to mention just a few.
How to become an active member of AIPPI
If you are interested in becoming a member, AIPPI International cordially invites you to join the National or Regional Group in your country. According to AIPPI’s Statutes, all members of a National or Regional Group are automatically members of AIPPI International.
If your principal professional or business activity is located in a country where no National or Regional Group of AIPPI exists, you may join as an Independent Member.
Please fill in the Membership Application Form. The information will be forwarded to the officers of the National or Regional Group in your country or, in the case of a prospective Independent Member, to the General Secretariat for initiating the registration process.