Tang aims for inclusivity, bares plans for WIPO

12 May 2020

Tang aims for inclusivity, bares plans for WIPO

Daren Tang said that his priority as the next director general of WIPO is to develop the global IP community into an inclusive, balanced, vibrant, and forward-looking one.

The chief executive of IPOS has been officially appointed as the new top man for WIPO which has 193 member states, the first Asian to assume the position and the first Singaporean to head the agency.

“First, we must prioritize work towards building an inclusive global IP ecosystem that serves the interests of all countries and their stakeholders. Special attention must be paid to those that need more help, especially the developing countries and the least developed amongst them. Such support must be done in a manner that respects and understands the relevant political, economic and cultural context in which it is being rendered,” said Tang in his acceptance speech to the WIPO General Assembly on May 8, 2020.

He added that the agency should address the fact that after 50 years, several member states remain unaware of how IP can help advance their economies.

Tang presented his plans to address this problem and help WIPO achieve its goal of inclusivity:

  • Provide more support to developing and least developed countries
  • Work with IP offices to support stakeholders including artists, creators, start-ups, and SMEs
  • Improve and optimize the current WIPO international registration systems for IP protection
  • Leverage on WIPO’s IP data to deliver insights that can help members make better decisions
  • Re-energize WIPO’s normative agenda
  • Broaden the perspective of IP beyond its legal and technical aspects to its role in connecting innovators and artists to markets and communities
  •  Partner with international organizations for solutions to sustainable development, climate change, public health, access to information and knowledge, among others
  • Build a culture of strong governance, diversity, mutual respect, passion, effectiveness and financial prudence within the organization

Under his leadership at IPOS, Singapore moved up the ranks in global competitiveness in terms of IP protection. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore is number one in Asia and second best in the world.

“We are confident that he will bring the same vision orientation, energy, outcomes, and capabilities that have come to define him during his time at IPOS into the auspices of WIPO,” said Dr. Stanley Lai, chairman of the IPOS board. “Having worked with him for several years, the Board is certain that the global IP community will be served by a Director General who is exceptionally attuned to the interests of countries, economies, and also equipped with a deep understanding of IP and its forceful impact on innovation and global development, especially during these challenging times.”

Tang also urged member nations to work more closely together in the face of global challenges such as unilateralism and parochialism. These challenges threaten multilateral institutions hence, the need for a more cohesive global effort to address these problems, he said.

Tang will begin his six-year term as WIPO director-general on October 1, 2020.


Espie Angelica A. de Leon

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