By Shilpi Sharan and Meril Mathew Joy
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a global forum providing specialized services in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) and is a leading entity in the development of IP across the globe. It facilitates the IP growth by way of encouraging and promoting innovation and creativity.
In an effort to help and motivate the creators/ innovators in their journey from concept stage to commercialization, WIPO has recently launched a new online business service WIPO PROOF- which provides a tamper-proof evidence, which helps in confirming existence of any digital file at a given point of time.
STAGES OF IP
A creator/ innovator starts his journey in creating and developing an IP in 4 stages broadly categorized as:
- Concept Stage – Where the creator/ innovator work on a concept or idea.
- Development Stage – Where the concept or idea is developed into an expression detailing the specifics of the IP in creation.
- IP Ready Stage – Where the IP is ready for protection and commercialisation, with respective details and specifics in place.
- Protection Stage – Where the IP is registered with respective IP Office to support claim of ownership with concerned IP Office.
- Commercialization Stage – Where the IP is released in market for benefit of all and commercial profits are derived by the IP owner.
WIPO PROOF is basically service which allows the creator/ innovator to obtain a token and thereby obtain a date-time stamped digital fingerprint of the digital data. In order to understand how the WIPO PROOF works please see the steps here and for understanding how the token is created in a world class manner with use of high-end technology please see the chart here. Detailed information on the features of the WIPO PROOF including the service fee and packages can be found here.
WIPO PROOF is created and developed in accordance with the most robust and stringent standard in the world, eIDAS standards  and use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology which makes the service reliable and assures that the date and time on the token is exact and has not been tampered with.
WIPO PROOF BENEFITS
The WIPO PROOF service can be very helpful especially considering multiple stages of the IP creation. The creator/ innovator can at the earliest stage decide to docket his idea/ concept with WIPO PROOF and get a date-time digital fingerprint from WIPO, authenticating the existence of such idea/ concept/ expression by the creator/ innovator at given point of time.
Such docketing will not only help the creator/ innovator to support his claim in the IP but will also help the creator/ innovator to prevent any misuse or misappropriation or infringement and will also support any claim during any contentious matter or any legal dispute.
WIPO PROOF is confidential, cost-effective and trusted service offered by WIPO which is open for the world at large to use.
WIPO PROOF- NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO IP REGISTRATION
WIPO PROOF is merely a service to help the creator or innovator to support the creation of their idea/ concept/ expression at a given point of time. The service is like a notary supporting the existence of a document at a given point in time, however this service is merely supporting evidence and not a concrete evidence to claim ownership or authorship over a work. The validity of the digitally signed document under the WIPO PROOF service, in any contentious matter or legal dispute, is subject to the opinion of the authority or tribunal or Court in respective national jurisdiction.
The WIPO PROOF is definitely a welcome service however this service must also not be confused as an alternative to any IP registration. Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in all jurisdiction has its own checks and balances to validate the ownership and grant exclusive rights in respect of an IP, and therefore such process must be followed to obtain necessary IP rights over the work. The WIPO PROOF may be used as an evidence before IPO to support any dispute over the work and the IPO may at its discretion may accept the WIPO PROOF as a valid document to resolve any dispute over the ownership over the work.
Though the WIPO PROOF service offers a great support for the innovators and creators however the actual success of this service can only be attained once the local jurisdictions accepts the WIPO PROOF service as a valid document to support the claim of the owner or creator.
WIPO PROOF service can be great help to support the claims of creator and innovators regarding their expression. Further, since the service is merely digitally stamping the document and not storing/ reading the stamped document, therefore the same will not amount to publication as well, which is again a relevant parameter for Patent IP and Design IP. Therefore, the future of WIPO PROOF in supporting and aiding the IP Protections around the world appears to be very positive and we now wait for WIPO PROOF to pass the tests of a valid documentation across all jurisdictions.
 The eIDAS Regulation is Regulation (EU) 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market, available at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-eidas/what-is-the-eidas-regulation/#:~:text=The%20eIDAS%20Regulation%20is%20Regulation,automatically%20applies%20in%20the%20UK.