The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last month launched WIPO Lex-Judgments, a new database providing free-of-charge access to leading judicial decisions related to IP law from around the world.
As technological innovation often outpaces the ability of legislatures and governments to create new rules and regulations, courts across the world are increasingly facing common issues of a highly sophisticated nature.
WIPO-Lex Judgments contributes to a greater overall understanding of how courts are handling these issues, by making available judgments – selectively curated by the relevant authorities in participating member states – that establish precedent or offer a persuasive interpretation of IP law in their jurisdiction. At launch, WIPO Lex-Judgments contained over 400 documents from 10 countries.
“WIPO Lex-Judgments will provide an important support for the adjudication of IP disputes in a globalized world where courts and policy makers, challenged by the dynamic nature of the IP discipline, can use the information gained from foreign judgments and judicial practice to inform their own search for domestic judicial and policy solutions,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
By fostering accessibility of information on judicial decisions, WIPO Lex-Judgments will contribute to informing and strengthening courts’ analyses and reasoning, as well as to discerning both converging and contrasting national approaches to common IP questions.
In addition, WIPO Lex-Judgments provides information on the judicial structures for IP disputes in participating member states. This allows users to appreciate the spectrum of structures that include generalist and specialist courts, as well as administrative entities that carry out quasi-judicial functions, and their diverse features that respond to the technical nature of IP disputes.
WIPO Lex-Judgments may be useful not only to judges but also to policy makers, attorneys and academia, and contribute to a better understanding of how courts address the complex and demanding nature of IP disputes, as they endeavor to make IP adjudication more coherent, effective and accessible.
WIPO Lex-Judgments further enhances the offerings of WIPO Lex, which is the Organization’s portal to a comprehensive global collection of IP laws and treaties.
Recognizing the increasingly transnational character of IP dispute resolution and the demand among national judges for dialogue with their peers across jurisdictions, in 2018, WIPO initiated a new focus on the judicial administration of IP. The activities are coordinated by the WIPO Judicial Institute, to help judges from around the world share experiences on the common challenges they face, to deliver targeted capacity building activities, and to increase the availability of information about IP and courts.
WIPO Lex-Judgments is a direct response to the needs expressed by numerous member states, initially from the Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC region) and Spain, for a resource that improves the availability of and access to information and data on judicial systems and decisions on IP at the international level.
WIPO Lex-Judgments provides access to judicial decisions that have been selected directly by the courts or other national authorities of each member state as leading decisions due to their significant impact or precedential value. The database captures searchable, bibliographic details for all indexed judgments, which include subject matter, issuing authority, type of proceeding, relevant legislation, keyword and summary, as well as the full text of the judgment in its original language.
As it is integrated with WIPO Lex, WIPO Lex-Judgments also enables cross-references to national laws and international treaties referenced in the decision, as contained in WIPO Lex.
Furthermore, each member state page provides an overview of its adjudication structures for IP disputes, outlining relevant features of the administrative and judicial procedures, IP case statistics and links to national online databases of judgments.
The WIPO Lex-Judgments interface is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, and enhances global access to the text of foreign IP judgments through the availability of automatic machine translation tools, including WIPO Translate.
Launched with the participation of an initial group of 10 countries, WIPO Lex-Judgments will continue to grow with the addition of judgments from every new participating member state, and to improve with updates to enhance its search and filtering, as well as machine translation, functions.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. Learn more at WIPO.int.