Inventor Assistance Program
IFIA has always struggled to ensure the protection of inventors’ rights, support them in the procedure of invention commercialization, and raise awareness about the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Intellectual Property rights through a wide range of activities such as organizing workshops, holding seminars, cooperating with other international organizations and etc. To further assist the inventors in this regard, IFIA has managed to be the sponsor of The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Inventor Assistant Program (IAP) that is in parallel with the primary objectives of IFIA .
The principal goal of IAP is to bring as many under-resourced inventors as possible into their local IP systems by giving them the knowledge, tools and means that they need to file complete applications, undergo substantive examination, and ultimately enjoy the benefits of a duly issued patent. Fundamental to this mission is the shared belief that creativity and great ideas come from people of all walks of life, and that a truly successful IP system is therefore one that is accessible to all, without regard to their socioeconomic status, geography or financial means.
There are two paths of admission to IAP, one for pro se applicants who have filed a patent application on their own behalf, and one for those inventors who have not yet filed an application in the local patent office. For the first path, the local Patent Office will be responsible for informing pro se applicants about the WIPO WEF IAP’s existence, eligibility criteria, procedures and rules upon receipt of the pro se application. Each applicant will then decide individually whether to apply to the WIPO WEF IAP, which is done directly with the WIPO Clearing House. For the second path, the local Patent Office and/or other local government bodies are expected to assist in promoting the online education program offered by WIPO, or other equivalent courses that may be developed for a specific country and offered through the local patent office.
Beginning as a pilot program in Colombia in 2015, the IAP will be set up as a partnership between the national government of each participating country (“Member Country”), WIPO, the WEF’s Intellectual Property for Economic Prosperity Project (IPEP) of which this program is part, and IP counsel qualified to practice and represent participating inventors in one or more Member Countries.