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WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications
March 28, 2022

U.S. Statement at the 45th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT)

As Delivered by David Gerk (USPTO)

March 28, 2022

Thank you Deputy Director General for giving me the floor.

We support the statements made by Group B, CEBS, UK and Canada condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. My delegation too must speak up on this matter.

While WIPO is a specialized agency with a specific mandate, it’s also part of the UN family. We cannot and will not stay silent when one Member State blatantly violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter to the catastrophic detriment of another Member State.

Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine was unprovoked and unwarranted. President Putin has unilaterally launched a premeditated war that has already and will continue to result in catastrophic loss of life, displacement, and tremendous human suffering.

We are seeing clear evidence they are intentionally targeting civilians and committing indiscriminate attacks. Russia alone is responsible for these war crimes, the death and destruction this attack is bringing, and the world must hold Russia accountable.

We call upon Russia to immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine and refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any UN member states. The United States also joins Secretary-General Guterres’s urgent plea for Russia to immediately withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

We also call upon all parties to allow and facilitate the rapid, safe, and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Ukraine, to protect civilians, including children, and to respect their rights.

While nothing compares with the loss of innocent life and human suffering that this war is bringing to the people of Ukraine, at this Committee we are also concerned with the impact of Russia’s actions on the global intellectual property system – including with respect to the subject matter discussed by this Committee. Russia’s invasion and its collateral impacts undermine WIPO’s and this body’s ability to advance development of a balanced and effective intellectual property ecosystem that promotes innovation and creativity for a better and more sustainable future, both immediately and in the long term. Without corrective actions being taken at WIPO beyond business as usual we have serious concerns regarding the effectiveness of WIPO in moving forward with its mission.