American companies rely on the leadership of the United States in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to protect and enforce U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights abroad, but the U.S. government risked losing its seat at the table until last week.
In response to a letter spearheaded by IDFA and signed by 19 other trade associations, the U.S. State Department last week released 85 percent of its dues to WIPO, ensuring that the U.S. government can continue its role in the organization that protects and enforces American IP rights abroad. For dairy, U.S. representation in WIPO is critical to help prevent other countries from using geographical indications to restrict the use of common cheese names.
“Several administration officials told us the letter was instrumental in moving the process forward and getting the funds released,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.
The department had withheld the funds while it conducted a review of WIPO’s activities and is expected to release the remaining 15 percent soon.
For more information, contact Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.