During the High-Level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (“Belt and Road” Initiative, BRI) in Beijing, China from 21 to 22 July 2016, the Round Table on Intellectual Property for Countries along the “Belt and Road” (closed session) was held by representatives of the intellectual property (IP) authorities from countries along the “Belt and Road” and was attended also by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as observers. On the Round Table, the IP authorities of participating countries discussed the vision for cooperation in the field of intellectual property and agreed upon the following common initiatives.

Considering

  • that the Silk Road has fostered economic and cultural exchanges, promoted shared prosperity and development among Countries along the historical Silk Road, and established a tradition of peaceful cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit;
  • that the 21st Century is an era marked by peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit. In the context of a world characterized by multi-polarity, globalization, cultural diversity and information-based societies, it is especially important to maintain free trade and open economy globally;

Recognizing

  • that IP, as the intangible property rights protecting the essence of human ingenuity, has become an important resource for national development by playing a vital role in incentivizing innovation and promoting economic growth and cultural prosperity;
  • that close cooperation among BRI Countries serves the common interests and is conducive to establishing a sound IP ecosystem, improving our respective IP systems, and creating favorable environment for innovation and sustainable development;and

that cooperation among BRI Countries should fully consider and respect the differences in levels of economic development, culture, innovation capabilities and the respective domestic legal frameworks of BRI Countries;

The IP authorities of BRI Countries will make sustained efforts to explore the prospects for enhanced dialogue and cooperation in the IP field, and therefore reached the following initiatives:

  1. Enhancing exchanges and cooperation on IP laws and regulations, policies and strategies
    • encourage BRI Countries to facilitate IP development, exchange experiences and improve their respective IP institutional frameworks for the purpose of mutual benefit, taking into account the actual conditions of all parties;
    • support exchanges and experience sharing between BRI Countries in the formulation and implementation of our respective IP strategies;
    • encourage exchanges among BRI Countries on improving knowledge transfer between research institutions and innovation-intensive industries;
    • encourage exchanges and cooperation among BRI Countries on IP issues in traditional and emerging areas (such as genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, and IP protection in the digital environment), in order to jointly facilitate the establishment and development of IP institutional frameworks in these areas.
  2. Supporting IP authorities of BRI Countries to enhance capacity building in order to provide accessible, efficient and cost-effective services to IP users and help them better utilize the IP system
    • encourage BRI Countries to improve the infrastructure of their IP authorities. We support cooperation and experience sharing in building IP registration/examination capacity;
    • encourage BRI Countries to foster the development of the IP service sector so as to provide better services and more support to innovators.
  3. Encouraging pragmatic cooperation on IP protection among BRI Countries
    • enhance importance to IP protection for incentivizing innovation and ensuring technological, economic and cultural development;
    • support the enhancement of mechanisms for exchanging experiences, information sharing and coordination among BRI Countries on IP protection and enforcement.
  4. Supporting the exchanges and cooperation among BRI Countries on raising public awareness about IP
    • encourage BRI Countries to carry out IP publicity activities with the aim of establishing respect for IP among the public. We support exchanges and cooperation between the IP authorities of BRI Countries with regard to relevant activities on the occasion of the World IP Day;
    • support BRI Countries in fostering IP awareness among the youth through IP education, and in exchanging information on relevant policies and measures;
    • encourage BRI Countries to incorporate IP in education systems and implement programs on student/trainee exchange;
    • encourage BRI Countries to provide market entities with guidance, especially those tailored for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, for enhancing their capacity in respect of IP utilization and commercialization.
  5. Supporting BRI Countries in strengthening cooperation in human resources development
    • support the IP authorities of BRI Countries to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on the training of professionals engaged in IP examination and administration;
    • support BRI Countries in the training of professionals engaged in IP services;
    • support BRI Countries to cooperate on training professionals by means of distance learning.
  6. Encouraging BRI Countries to enhance IP information sharing and utilization
    • support the IP authorities of BRI Countries on IP information sharing and data exchange, as may be aligned with their capacities and needs, and subject to applicable national laws and regulations;
    • encourage BRI Countries to make available to, and share with, the general public IP-related data and information and keep strengthening information services to IP users.

Considering the importance of WIPO and its essential role in global IP development, the IP authorities of the participating countries invited WIPO to provide necessary technical assistance and support in implementing these Common Initiatives.

Based on the above initiatives and for the purpose of advancing the cooperation among BRI Countries in the IP field, the Round Table of such will be organized further to discuss specific cooperation matters in order to facilitate in-depth cooperation.