(Oct. 7, 2020) On September 24, 2020, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced the launching of WIPO Lex-Judgments, a free database that provides access to judicial decisions on IP law from around the world. The project started with over 400 documents from Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, the Republic of Korea, and Spain. It is expected to gradually add rulings from additional member states.
Features of WIPO Lex-Judgments
According to WIPO, the database provides access to decisions selected by the courts or other national authorities of each member state due to their precedential value or significant impact.
It captures searchable details of judgments indexed therein, including subject matter, issuing authority, relevant legislation, and the full text of the judgment in its original language. In addition, each member state’s section provides an overview of its adjudication frameworks for Intellectual Property (IP) disputes, a summary of relevant features of its administrative and judicial procedures, and links to national online databases of rulings.
WIPO’s announcement explained that, as technological innovation outpaces the ability of legislative bodies and governments to enact new rules and regulations, courts across the world are facing common issues of a highly complex nature.
Due to the increasingly global nature of such matters as well as the demand from national judges for dialogue with peers across jurisdictions, WIPO started an effort to focus on the judicial administration of IP in 2018. Consequently, Lex-Judgments was created in response to the requests expressed by a number of member states for a resource aimed at improving the availability of information on judicial systems and decisions on IP at the international level.
WIPO-Lex Judgments’ goal is to achieve a better understanding of how courts in different nations handle certain IP issues by publicizing judgments selected by member states that set important precedents or offer persuasive interpretations of IP law in their respective jurisdictions. Thus, this database will contribute to inform and strengthen courts’ analyses as well as to compare national approaches to common IP questions. Accordingly, the database should be helpful to judges but also to policy makers, lawyers, and academia, as they attempt to make adjudication of IP cases more accessible and coherent.