WIPO PROOF: new “digital fingerprint”
Assists in proving the existence of innovations, trade secrets and confidential information
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched a new “digital fingerprint” service that provides a certain time and date to digital files containing, for example, intellectual creations such as innovations, trade secrets, confidential information, research and data.
This “digital fingerprint” is conceived as a complement to existing IP protection systems (trademarks, patents, designs, etc.) and, particularly, as evidence to solve disputes related to the use of confidential information or certain innovations before they are formally registered as IP rights.
Although WIPO PROOF does not create IP rights, the possibility of demonstrating that certain content existed at a given moment may assist in protecting assets during each stage of the innovative development process. This technology may also be applied to other related matters, for example, as supplementary evidence of the existence of a contract or as additional assurance when exchanging information during precontractual negotiations.
WIPO PROOF is an online service that utilizes the user’s local server to create a unique code or “digital fingerprint” for the contents of that file, date- and time-stamped by WIPO. The user receives a token containing said code and WIPO stores a copy of the token on its secure servers in Switzerland. Since files are not uploaded nor stored in external servers, confidentiality of information is not compromised, which is of relevance when dealing with sensitive information. The code can easily be verified online for free, at any time. The system will determine if the code of the original digital file matches the one stored in the token. If the original digital file has been modified, the code will not be verified.
By means of this new service, WIPO offers users a creative and accessible solution to some of the challenges posed by the era of digital transformation.