WIPO Technical Assistance: Analysis and Dataset

WIPO provides a Technical Assistance Database which “contains information on technical assistance activities undertaken by the Organization where one or more of the beneficiary countries were either developing or a least developed country or a country in transition.” The database covers the years 2007-2013 (while you can select the years 2004-2006 as well, there are no data for these years).

Unfortunately the interface for accessing these data is a bit clunky, and in some cases broken. For example, if your query returns more than about 200 results, you cannot page through the results list properly. WIPO does not provide a way to access the underlying data through an API, or to download the data in a standard format.

I need this data for my dissertation, so I scraped the HTML pages and ran them through a parser (Perl’s HTML::TableExtract) to generate a CSV file that can be imported into any standard spreadsheet (LibreOffice Calc, or, if you must, Excel) or statistical program (R).

I am providing the CSV file here in case it is useful for someone else. If you do use my reformatted version of the data, I ask that you kindly cite both WIPO and myself, e.g.:

“WIPO Technical Assistance Database.” World Intellectual Property Organization, 2013: Geneva, Switzerland. Available at http://www.wipo.int/tad/en/

“WIPO Technical Assistance Database CSV file.” Gabriel J. Michael, 2013: Washington, DC. Available at http://home.gwu.edu/~gmichael/datasets/

Here is the file: wipo_tad.csv

It is a standard CSV file with a header indicating the fields. I converted the date to ISO 8601 standard format, and I added ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes to facilitate the incorporation of these data into other datasets. I also reformatted the country names according to those output by the “countrycode” package in R. There may be a few mangled French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. characters in the text, although I tried to catch most of them. As of March 4, 2013, the database reports having 2489 records, although my scraping only turned up 2488 records. I’m not sure what the missing record is.

I did some simple analysis of the data. Here are some basic graphs presenting the results; if you need more detail, please download the dataset and have a look.

First, here is a map of where WIPO activities are occurring. Switzerland (the headquarters of WIPO is in Geneva) is the most frequent location, followed by Brazil, South Korea, Japan, the United States, South Africa, Singapore, India, and China. The redder a country, the more activities take place in it.

WIPO Activities Map

According to the database, since 2009, WIPO has conducted several hundred training activities a year. 2007 and 2008 are quite sparse; I believe the dataset is incomplete.

WIPO Activities by Year

The following charts report the type, category, field of IP, and WIPO sector involved in the trainings.

WIPO Activities by Type WIPO Activities by Category WIPO Activities by Field of IP WIPO Activities by Sector

It’s interesting to see that the sectors with the highest activity are the Regional Bureaux for 1) Asia and the Pacific, 2) Africa, and 3) Latin America and the Caribbean.

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About Gabriel

Ph.D. in political science. Postdoc and resident fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. Tech geek. Mechanically inclined. I study the politics of intellectual property.
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