WIPO Election of Tang is a Big Win for Global Intellectual Property Rights

The World Intellectual Property Organization welcomes Daren Tang, former head of Singapore’s Intellectual Property agency, as the organization’s new Director General. In the last round of voting the WIPO Coordination Committee selected Tang over the other remaining candidate and current WIPO deputy director, Wang Binyang of China.

WIPO and its 83 participating countries held two rounds of voting to choose the director general out of six nominated candidates. Tan has a proven history of promoting strong IP rights in his country and was the candidate of choice of other countries with strong IP-intensive industries, such as the US. This is an important development for property rights and international organizations.

Mr. Tang has a proven track record of protecting and promoting intellectual property rights in Singapore. Not only does Singapore rank high in PRA’s International Property Rights Index at 4th place, it takes the ranking seriously and places it along others on the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s website. Whereas China, though it has improved in IP protections according to the International Property Rights Index, continues to be the provenance country of the lion’s share of the world’s counterfeits and faced a trade war with the United States over forced intellectual property transfers.

Several US officials released statements congratulating Mr. Tang. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “On behalf of the United States, I congratulate Daren Tang for his election as Director General … Mr. Tang is an effective advocate for protecting intellectual property, a vocal proponent of transparency and institutional integrity, and a leader who can unify WIPO member states by forging consensus on difficult issues.”

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce also congratulated Tang. “The election of Daren Tang as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization is good news for the global economy. Mr. Tang understands the importance of intellectual property rights to inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, companies, and all those whose livelihoods depend on their creative genius.”

Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director said “I congratulate Daren Tang on his election as the new Director General of the WIPO. We are eager to work with Mr. Tang and his leadership team to enhance multilateral cooperation and build consensus on IP issues.”

Mr. Tang will start his term in October 2020, where he will succeed current Director General Francis Gurry of Australia who has led the WIPO since 2008 and addressed several IP issues related to rapid technological change. In Mr. Tang, we can rest assured global intellectual property will continue to have a steady hand at the helm.

Photo Credit:  Diplomatic Security Service