Francis Gurry

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Francis Gurry
Francis Gurry 2015.jpg
4th Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization
Assumed office
1 October 2008
Preceded byKamil Idris
Personal details
Born (1951-05-17) 17 May 1951 (age 67)
NationalityAustralia Australian

Francis Gurry (born 17 May 1951)[1][2] is an Australian national and the fourth and current Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He is also Secretary-General of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Gurry previously served as a Deputy Director General of WIPO from 2003 to 2008.[3]


Gurry graduated in 1974 from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Laws and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia in 1975.[2] He worked in Melbourne as an articled clerk and solicitor at Arthur Robinson & Co. (now Allens)[4] and earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne in 1976.[5] From 1976 to 1979, Gurry was a research student at the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from which he was awarded a PhD[5] in 1980 for his thesis dealing with breach of confidence.[2]

Before joining WIPO, Gurry was a senior lecturer in law at the University of Melbourne and, for one year, a solicitor at Freehills, Melbourne.[6] He was also a visiting professor of law at the University of Dijon, France.[2]

Francis Gurry joined the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1985[7] as a consultant and senior program officer in the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. Between 1988 and 1999, he held positions in different sectors of WIPO, including in the Industrial Property Law Section, the Office of the Director General, and the Legal Counsel Office.[2] As Assistant Director General (from 1999-2003) and Deputy Director General (from 2003-2008), he was in charge of a variety of areas including the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), patent law and policy, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (which he helped establish[8]), traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources, and life sciences.[2]

Francis Gurry was nominated as a candidate for the position of Director General of WIPO in February 2008[9] and won the election on 13 May 2008.[10] On 22 September 2008, he was appointed Director General by the WIPO General Assembly.[11] His six-year term started on 1 October 2008 and ran to the end of September 2014.[12] Following his nomination by the WIPO Coordination Committee,[13] the WIPO General Assembly on 8 May 2014 appointed Gurry for a second 6-year term running through September 2020.[14]

Gurry has been accused of trying to retaliate against a whistleblower by authorizing security staff to enter senior staff offices and take personal items away for DNA testing; improperly awarding an IT procurement contract to an acquaintance; and breaking United Nations Security Council sanctions by sending IT equipment to North Korea and Iran.[15] An investigation was conducted by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services but its report has been shrouded in secrecy.[16] 17 WIPO member states have asked the WIPO Coordination Committee to review the report so the issues can be resolved.[17] In October 2016, all investigations against Francis Gurry were closed.[18]

Published works[edit]


  • International Intellectual Property in an Integrated World Economy, Wolters Kluwer, New York, 2nd edition 2012 (with Frederick M. Abbott and Thomas Cottier), ISBN 978-0-7355-3958-7; 1st edition 2007, ISBN 978-0-7355-3958-7
  • Breach of Confidence, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1984, ISBN 0-19-825378-8; second edition Gurry on Breach of Confidence – The Protection of Confidential Information by Tanya Aplin, Lionel Bently, Phillip Johnson, and Simon Malynicz, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012, ISBN 978-0199297665
  • International Intellectual Property System: Commentary and Materials, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1999 (with Frederick M. Abbott and Thomas Cottier), ISBN 90-411-9322-7
  • Confidential Information, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1981

Selected articles[edit]

  • "The Cambrian Explosion", International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, vol. 38, no. 3 (2007), pp. 255–258
  • "Globalization, Intellectual Property and Development", Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, 2005
  • "The Growing Complexity of International Policy in Intellectual Property", Science and Engineering Ethics, vol. 11, no. 1 (2005), pp. 13–20
  • "The Dispute Resolution Services of the World Intellectual Property Organization", Journal of International Economic Law, vol. 2, no. 2 (1999), pp. 385 – 398
  • "The Evolution of Technology and Markets and the Management of Intellectual Property Rights", in Frederick M. Abbott and David Gerber (eds.) Public Policy and Global Technology Integration, (Kluwer Law International, London, 1997), ISBN 90-411-0655-3
  • "Arbitrage et propriété intellectuelle", in Institut de recherche en propriété intellectuelle Arbitrage et propriété intellectuelle (Libraires Techniques, Paris, 1994), ISBN 2-7111-2383-9


  1. ^ WIPO web site, WO/CC/54/2 Corr. Annex II. Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Francis Gurry. Consulted on 12 May 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f WIPO website, Dr. Francis Gurry: Curriculum Vitae. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  3. ^ WIPO website, Director General - Francis Gurry. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  4. ^ Allens Arthur Robinson, Intellectual Property Bulletin – December 2008 Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  5. ^ a b Melbourne Law School website, Professor Francis Gurry. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  6. ^ Intellectual Asset Management magazine (January/February 2009), Francis Gurry – rebuilding WIPO’s shattered reputation. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  7. ^ IP Australia Media Centre, "Dr Francis Gurry visit". Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  8. ^ "IP's most important figures", Managing Intellectual Property, July / August 2005.
  9. ^ Proposal for the candidacy of Mr. Francis Gurry (Australia) (post of Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization), letter of 13 February 2008 of Stephen Smith, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Mrs. Hilde Skorpen, Chair, WIPO Coordination Committee.
  10. ^ WIPO website, Key WIPO Body Nominates Candidate for Director General, Press release, PR/2008/552, Geneva, 13 May 2008. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  11. ^ WIPO website, Francis Gurry of Australia Appointed as WIPO Director General, Press release, PR/2008/564, Geneva, 22 September 2008. Consulted on 21 February 2011.
  12. ^ Appointment of new Director General, PCT Newsletter 10/2008, October 2008, page 1.
  13. ^ WIPO website, WIPO’s Coordination Committee Nominates Francis Gurry for Second Term as Director General, Press release, PR/2014/754, Geneva, 6 March 2014. Consulted on 3 June 2014.
  14. ^ WIPO website, Francis Gurry Appointed for Second Term as WIPO Director General, Press release, PR/2014/759, Geneva, 8 May 2014. Consulted on 3 June 2014.
  15. ^ Facebook; Hp; Apple; Microsoft; Google; rules', Secret UN report finds WIPO chief 'broke procurement; hearing, US Congressman calls WIPO 'the FIFA of UN agencies' at; chief, Secret UN report finds against controversial WIPO. "WIPO whistleblowers beg UN for protection as probe into possible corruption starts". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  16. ^ Russell, George (2016-02-18). "Patent scandal: Secret probe of top UN official completed | Fox News". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  17. ^ "Important Agenda For WIPO Coordination Committee Tomorrow". Intellectual Property Watch. 2016-09-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  18. ^ "Member States Unanimously Decide to Close Investigation Cases Against WIPO Director General Francis Gurry". WIPO. October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kamil Idris
Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Succeeded by