The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information, and cooperation. The organization is designed to promote the worldwide protection of both industrial property (inventions, trademarks, and designs) and copyrighted materials (literary, musical, photographic, and other artistic works).
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and with multiple offices around the globe, WIPO also works with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments and individuals to find practical application of IP for socioeconomic development. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
The post is located in the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector (IES). Coordinating with other vertical and horizontal WIPO sectors, IES is responsible for helping Member States develop their IP and innovation ecosystems to drive enterprise and economic growth. IES is also responsible for providing support for researchers and innovators, as well as enterprises, including SMEs, in IP commercialization and otherwise using IP for business growth; issues relating to the emergence of IP as an asset class; and the development of advisory expertise in these and related areas, for example, in national IP strategies. The IP Commercialization Section partners with governments, industry, and other stakeholders to develop innovation ecosystems that support IP commercialization and business growth through intellectual property.
The incoming professional will focus on the use of IP and other forms of intangible assets such as know-how and data as a financial asset. In addition to issues like IP valuation and IP financing, they will also hold responsibility for other emerging areas as well where IP is treated as an asset class e.g., IP insurance. The incoming IP professional will perform the following principal duties:
- Identify issues and challenges relating to the areas of IP valuation, IP financing and other issues relevant to the use of IP as a financial asset.
- Engage with a broad range of national, regional, and international stakeholders (including start-ups and SMEs, investors and financiers, venture capitalists, banks and other financial institutions, regulators like IP offices and central banks, and relevant international and UN agencies) on these issues.
- Conduct research and studies, and provide insights on issues relating to IP financing, IP valuation and other emerging areas relevant to the use of IP as a financial asset e.g., IP insurance.
- Bring together stakeholders to investigate the issues around the inter-operability and if appropriate, harmonization of methodologies for IP valuation, so as to facilitate the cross-border flow of IP as an asset class.
- Develop tools and training programs for the building of skills and capabilities in this area.
- Provide expertise and guidance across WIPO on the issues relating to IP financing, IP valuation and the use of IP as a financial asset.
- Work closely with any other WIPO colleague who is dealing with IP commercialization and more generally, looking at IP from an enterprise and economic perspective; as well as with those who are engaging with national, regional and international stakeholders.
- Perform other related duties, as required.
The successful candidate is likely to fulfil the following criteria:
- Advanced university degree in accounting, economics, finance, business, tax, law, science, engineering, or related discipline. A first-level university degree in a relevant field, plus two years of experience in addition to the experience requested below may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
- At least 7 years of experience in IP financing and/or IP valuation, including in the structuring of transactions with significant IP aspects e.g., transfer pricing issues. This experience can be gained from a consultancy, accounting, valuation, financing, investment, or corporate environment.
- Significant experience operating independently and executing on both a strategic and operational level.
- Experience developing IP centred financial instruments such as IP bonds, convertible debt offerings, etc, would be desirable.
- Experience with IP taxation related issues would be desirable.
- Experience working with venture capital, private equity, inventors, or start-ups as well as working with business in different countries and sectors, including managing cross-border transactions would be desirable.
- Experience in designing software applications in a business environment.
- Fluency in the English language. A good knowledge of any other UN official languages would be strong asset.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Further to this, an intuitive understanding of how to progress matters across a complex organizational structure and partner ecosystem, including the ability to build lasting partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.
- Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing, including the ability to clearly convey messages to a wide range of audiences including investors, finance professionals, innovators, creators, legal and business professionals, and government officials.
- Ability to engage with senior leaders in industry, government, as well as with senior representatives of international organizations, UN agencies and other stakeholders.
- Ability to break down complex issues, craft potential solutions, and influence others to adopt them.
- Excellent organizational skills, including attention to detail and ability to define specific action plans based on general guidance and deliver results.