Greeting for the New Year

by Hao Ma (President of AIPPI)

Dear AIPPI Members:

Time passes so quickly and with little advance notice the calendar New Year 2017 has now arrived. I hope you had a restful holiday season and that you are back to the office in high spirits. For those who are waiting for the Lunar New Year, I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable reunion time.

During the past 12 months, we have witnessed many dramatic changes and much progress in the political, economic as well as intellectual property fields around the world. Needless to say, such rapid developments are both opportunities and challenges, which introduce new demands on our future work. With its genuine asset of over 9000 members, AIPPI will continue to dedicate itself to the betterment of IP protection worldwide.

In 2016, we continued our cooperation with IPOs (Intellectual Property Offices) and other official agencies. In addition to the visits to WIPO, the EPO and EUIPO, we also met with IPOS in Singapore, SIPO, the Beijing IP Court, and the China Chamber of International Commerce in China. Moreover, we enhanced our international cooperation with sister associations. The first AIPPI-ASEAN Regional Seminar took place in Kuala Lumpur, a joint effort of AIPPI and ASEAN IPA. The co-organized seminar with INTA, “Designs: Into the Future”, was held in Singapore. Another highlight is that we strongly supported our National Groups by sending Bureau members to their national meetings, e.g., the Trilateral Meeting of China-Japan-Korea and the international conference “From IP to NP” co-organized by AIPPI Israel, the Israel Patent Office, the Israel Ministry of Justice and WIPO.

A central theme of 2017 is that we are profoundly proud to be celebrating the remarkable 120th anniversary of our Association. At the foundation event of AIPPI in 1897 in Brussels, there were only about 20 people. It could hardly have been imagined that the number of attendees at our 2016 AIPPI World Congress would reach more than 2100 from 85 countries. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank Carlo Faggioni (Chair of the Organizing Committee), Renata Righetti (then President of the Italian National Group), the Italian National Group, the General Secretariat of AIPPI, and many others for their extraordinary work in organizing the Congress.

For your information, the AIPPI Bureau has undertaken an important project to develop a Strategic Plan. It was initiated during Felipe Claro’s tenure as President and has been discussed at length and finalized by the Bureau. John Bochnovic, the Executive Director, has devoted considerable time and energy to this project. The overall objective of the Strategic Plan is to empower AIPPI’s individual members, National and Regional Groups (NRGs) and Independent Members (IMs), and thereby AIPPI itself, to maintain and increase AIPPI’s prominence and influence in carrying out its objects. In addition, there are overriding and less tangible goals relating to the unique AIPPI culture, the AIPPI brand, and the value of membership in AIPPI. It is our sincere hope to provide a roadmap for the development of our Association and to take significant strides to fulfilling our goals relating to the improvement and promotion of the protection of intellectual property on both international and national bases.

Looking back at the history, we could never have achieved our current progress without your positive participation and the tremendous input of our committees and the Bureau. I warmly welcome you to participate in the AIPPI’s work and look forward to meeting you at the 2017 AIPPI World Congress from October 13 to 17 in Sydney, Australia!

Last but not least, on behalf of the AIPPI Bureau and the General Secretariat, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you for a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!