Interview with Dr. Gjorgji Filipov for "Managing Intelectual Property" - Global magazine for Intellectual Property
Position: Macedonian Ambassador to Germany Nationality: Macedonian Year of birth: 1956
What is the most important quality you would bring to the WIPO DG job?
The director-general job in WIPO is a very responsible post, dealing with numerous challenges to harmonize the interest of the stakeholders (the countries and members) and the interest of the world business community as well as the world inventors' community and the world patent and trade mark attorneys community.
Without these particles it is difficult to understand the atom core of the WIPO. Here, we can add the rapid technological and world market development, plus political, of course incremental but important, displacing and movements. The DG job must respond to all these requirements.
All this can be achieved by using a new style of management, the so-called inverse pyramid style.
That means stakeholders, countries, members and others have to be put on the top of the managing scale, and the DG has only to lead having in mind their interests because, conditionally speaking in the language of business, they are the shareholders of the big "company" named World Intellectual Property Organization.
How can WIPO better serve its members?
The answer is very short and clear. WIPO can better serve its members only by their empowerment and by strengthening their role in the decision-making processes. WIPO must become a respectable organization that will have more power. In other words, it is time now for this tiger (which WIPO is) to become stronger. The tiger has to get teeth in its mouth.
Do you think there is a gap between the demands of the developed and developing world when it comes to IP rights? And what would you do to bridge this gap?
Yes, I think that you are right. There is a gap, not only in this domain of public activity, but in other domains, too. Let us take into consideration the gap between developed and developing parts of the world in financial, international trade, or any other area. This gap has to be as narrow as possible. I would like to mention here the role of the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fond, as well as the World Bank. WIPO has to be added to the same level, although the others are not members of United Nations system, but it can help with common actions to find mechanisms in order to make this gap smaller. The strong system of intellectual property rights in any developing country in the world could only help that country to accelerate its transition from the group of developing towards the group of developed countries.
As a candidate, who is coming from a country in transition, a country that is not a member of the EU nor belongs fully to the group of developing countries, I am watching the problem from the both sides. That is the reason why I have already created a draft version in my mind which can give a great contribution to reduce this gap in the field of IP matters, in a relatively short period of time.
What advice would you give to someone starting a career in IP?
To look at the origins of the creation of IP rights. I know some patent attorneys who have never visited research and development laboratories and institutions, factories or business organizations. If you are in IP you must know how an IP right is created, developed and commercialized, only then can you appreciate what you do and for whom you are doing that.
If you had to recommend a book that IP practitioners should read, what would it be?
I would recommend A Handbook of Intellectual Property Management -Protecting, Developing and Exploiting your IP Assets by Adam Jolly and Jeremy Philpott.
Have you ever filed a patent, trade mark or design, or been named as an inventor?
Yes, as an attorney I have filed so many, more than 500 patents and trade marks. As an inventor I have also filed a few. I received an inventor award from the City Of Skopje for the invention of the hydraulic and pneumatic installation for a stove oven production automation line. Another invention of mine was the influence of different controlling systems on the work of a flexible production line. In Europe, I also invented the software for patent portfolio management for the determination of technological development and this has been sold in five countries.
What is on your desk at the moment?
A lot of files concerning my diplomatic job and a very interesting book which is a German translation of The Corporate Mystic: A Guidebook for Visionaries with Their Feet on the Ground by Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman
What would you do if you didn't work in IP?
I couldn't imagine, but now I am a diplomat in Germany, a country where innovation is part of daily life.
What do you like to do at the weekend/in your spare time?
I do a lot of walking and play some table tennis, chess and acoustic guitar. I also like reading spiritual books.
What one record would you take with you to a desert island?
A combination of some Deep Purple, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and also some Beethoven, Mozart and Bach.