Geneva Digital Atlas

Intellectual Property

The internet is an incredibly rich repertoire of information and knowledge; however, it’s not always straightforward to establish who owns such knowledge when the latter flows across national borders and can easily be copy-pasted, downloaded, pirated, reproduced, and redistributed. The protection of knowledge and ideas online through Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has become one of the main issues in the digital policymaking debate, especially with the progress in generative AI and border-shattering metaverse technologies. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as its name suggests, deals with these thorny issues by bringing together governmental intellectual property (IP) services with NGOs and industry leaders, fostering an effective global IP ecosystem. WIPO produces a wide range of digital tools that allow IP officers worldwide to access its services, including databases, arbitration and mediation, and IP knowledge searches. The WIPO Conversation series further raises awareness of the challenges frontier technologies pose to IPR and fosters expert consensus. Other organisations like South Centre and the Consumer Unit and Trust Society (CUTS) specifically support developing countries in harnessing innovation and effectively using IP systems in the digital era.