Adams & Adams has become the first southern African Intellectual Property Law Firm to join the international Inventor Assistance Program. The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP), a WIPO initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, is the first global programme of its kind. It matches developing country inventors and small businesses with limited financial means with patent attorneys, who provide pro bono legal assistance to secure patent protection.
In confirming the firm’s participation as volunteer patent attorneys under the program, Chair of Patents at Adams & Adams, Louis van der Walt said, “The IAP is a wonderful tool, and by participating in the program, pro bono attorneys provide a free kick-start to the use and development of the patent system in developing countries. Our work helps spur innovation at the grassroots level and also allows our own attorneys to develop their professional skills in new, rewarding ways.”
After a pilot phase in three countries – Colombia, Morocco and the Philippines – the IAP is now officially part of WIPO’s programmes.