From left to right: Mr. Marco Aleman, Director, Patent Law Division, WIPO, Mr. Ivan Arnulfo Rizo Tello, inventor, Reinventing; Mr. Alireza Rastegar, President, IFIA (Photo: WIPO/Berrod)
On April 30, 2019, Mr. Ivan Arnulfo Rizo Tello was awarded a WIPO Medal for his patent secured with support of the Inventor Assistance Program (IAP). His invention was selected by the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA), an IAP sponsor.
Mr. Rizo Tello, together with his wife Daniela, founded Reinventing. The patent protects the core product of their business, a device that shields cars against the elements and deters theft at the same time. He found the program critical to secure this important asset for his business.
In Mr. Rizo Tello’s case, he received support from a top Colombian law firm to secure protect his invention. Ms. Luz Helena Adarve – Partner at Cardenas & Cardenas – Dentons – provided guidance throughout the patent application process. Reflecting on her experience, Ms. Luz Helena Adarve said. “Working with Colombian inventors, especially in this IAP case, is a very rewarding experience that reminds us that behind all patent applications, beyond talent and ingenuity, there are constant, resilient people with a desire to contribute to society.”
Volunteers, like Ms. Luz Helena Adarve, are the heart and soul of the IAP. Without their expertise, inventors are far less likely to protect their innovations.
During the same award ceremony, Mr. Carlos Olarte – Partner at Olarte Moure – was recognized for his special contributions to the IAP. Mr. Olarte told WIPO that he finds the program “absolutely fulfilling from a professional standpoint and an excellent way to give back to society. He delivered an important message for patent professionals thinking about participating in the program: “If you support local innovation, the IAP is an outstanding way to show it.”
About the IAP
The IAP aims to level the playing field for inventors who have great ideas like Mr. Rizo Tello, but struggle to turn them into valuable patented assets. Volunteer patent attorneys and agents help under-resourced inventors selected under the program navigate the patent system on a pro bono basis. The assistance includes patent drafting and prosecution before the inventor’s local patent office and in selected jurisdictions. The program currently operates in Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, the Philippines, and South Africa.