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  5. Government of Japan to Submit Candidature of Mr. NATSUME Kenichiro for Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Government of Japan to Submit Candidature of Mr. NATSUME Kenichiro for Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

October 29, 2019

The Government of Japan has decided to submit the candidature of Mr. Natsume Kenichiro, WIPO Senior Director, for the post of Director General of WIPO.

The election to nominate the next Director General of WIPO is to take place in Geneva, Switzerland on March 5 and 6, 2020.

In this regard, the Government of Japan has decided to submit the candidature of Mr. Natsume Kenichiro for the post of Director General of WIPO. Mr. Natsume is currently serving as the Senior Director of the PCT Legal and International Affairs Department of WIPO.

Mr. Natsume is well-versed in information and communication technology (ICT), very experienced in the practices, policy-making, and diplomacy of intellectual property, and skilled in supporting emerging countries through intellectual property. He will be able to effectively respond to WIPO’s urgent challenges, owing to his wealth of experience and expertise. He is capable of responding to rapid advances being made in ICT and driving economic growth in emerging countries through innovation.

The Government of Japan is committed to making every effort to gain the support from all member states to ensure Mr. Natsume is elected to the position.

Reference 1: Overview of WIPO

WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations in charge of intellectual property (IP). It is comprised of 192 member states and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. About 1,100 staff members work for WIPO, whose main tasks include making rules on IP, operating and managing international filing systems, and supporting emerging countries with their IP needs.

Reference 2: Election of WIPO Director General

The next Director General will be elected by vote of the WIPO Coordination Committee that consists of 83 member states out of the 192 WIPO member states. Each member state of the Committee has one vote. The Director General’s term of office is six years.

Reference 3: Mr. Natsume’s curriculum vitae

Mr. Natsume was born in 1968. In 1992, he graduated with a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at Tohoku University, Japan and began work at the Japan Patent Office. Since then, he has held various posts in the Japanese government, including as patent examiner, administrative patent judge, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, and the Director of Multilateral Policy Office of the Japan Patent Office. Mr. Natsume served as the head of the WIPO Japan Office from 2012, the Director of WIPO PCT International Cooperation Division from 2014, and in September 2019, he was appointed the Senior Director of WIPO PCT Legal and International Affairs Department.

Division in Charge

International Policy Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO