Newsletter Edition 30 - November 2021


Graça Aranha is the new WIPO Representative in Geneva for Sustainable Development

Lawyer José Graça Aranha has just been appointed Special Representative of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the coming days, he will leave the building on Avenida Atlântica, in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, where he is the Regional Director of the WIPO Brazil Office, to work at Bâtiment AB, the stylish building designed by the German office Behnisch Architekten where the entity’s world headquarters are located. In his new mission, Graça Aranha will be involved with topics related to innovation as a source of economic and social transformations within the framework of the UN system for Sustainable Development and the scope of the new global development agenda: the 2030 Agenda. “Inevitably, I will always be connected to intellectual property and Brazil”, he said.

It is the third time in almost 30 years that Graça Aranha has gone to live in Geneva, a city he considers his second home. On his last return to Brazil, the idea was to stay for two years, but his stay ended up extending for over a decade. During his tenure as regional director of WIPO in Brazil, Graça Aranha was actively involved in the promotion and improvement of the Brazilian intellectual property system through participating in events and debates in various circles, being a great supporter of agreements and partnerships between the ABPI and the WIPO, such as the summer schools on intellectual property. “Graça Aranha was an important part of the partnership between ABPI and WIPO”, said the current president of ABPI, Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta. “His contribution to the development of IP in Brazil was essential”, added the president-elect of ABPI, Gabriel Leonardos.

The feelings are mutual. Graça Aranha likes to quote a phrase from the Hungarian-American Árpád Bogsch, former Director-General of WIPO, when visiting Brazil: “ABPI was primarily responsible for keeping the flame of IP burning in Brazil in the most difficult years”. These years, according to Graça Aranha, would be those of the 70s and 80s, when the BPTO and the government did not comply with some articles of the Law in force at the time and of the Paris Convention, notably concerning unfair competition and highly renowned trademarks.

Graduated in Law from the Cândido Mendes University in Rio de Janeiro, Graça Aranha holds a Master in Intellectual Property Law from the Franklin Pierce School of Law, University of New Hampshire, USA. Before joining WIPO, he worked as a specialist intellectual property lawyer in Rio de Janeiro and also as Coordinator of Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Science and Technology in Brasília. From 1999 to January 2003, he was President of the BPTO. He was a member of the High Councils of Technology at FIESP (Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo) and FIRJAN (Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro).