Apart from patents, trade mark, designs and copyright, there are also other forms of IP, such as the layout designs of integrated circuits and digital intellectual assets.

Digital Intellectual Assets

Importance of Protecting Non-Registrable IP

Copyrighted materials, confidential information, trade secrets, know-how and research data are examples of non-registrable IP. While these IP are non-registrable, they are important to individuals and businesses for their commercial value. In this digital age, there are many ways and tools available to manage your intellectual assets strategically to prevent misuse and misappropriation. One such way is digital timestamping of intellectual assets.


What is a Digital Intellectual Asset?

A digital intellectual asset is any intangible asset that exists in a digital format, e.g. copyrighted work, trade secrets etc. One way to protect a digital intellectual asset is using digital timestamping.

What is Digital Timestamping?

It is an electronic certification that proves the existence of a file at a specific date and time, i.e. it may be used to certify the existence and possession of the digital intellectual assets at a specific point in time. This could be used as evidence that the data existed at that time during a litigation. To get verifiable and indefinitely valid evidence that the data existed at a specific point in time, you can use WIPO PROOF, a digital timestamping service offered by WIPO, to safeguard your valuable intellectual assets.

Image provided by WIPO.


WIPO PROOF is an online service that rapidly produces tamper-proof evidence which can be used to prove the existence of a digital file at a specific point in time. View the video for a quick tour.


WIPO PROOF uses the highest standard of Public Key Infrastructure technology, compliant with the RFC 3161 protocol, for the generation of tokens. More information about the process can be found here.

Benefits of WIPO PROOF

  • Verifiable and valid evidence to be used in legal disputes
  • Pre-empts unlawful behaviour
  • Affordable
  • Worldwide recognition
  • Confidential

While WIPO PROOF does not replace protection provided by IP registrations, it is an innovative way to complement your IP portfolio and to safeguard intellectual assets that may not or yet to be protected by any IP right.

Potential Uses for WIPO PROOF

Creative Works and Designs

  • Helps to establish prior existence of work
  • Links to authorship
  • Resolves possible future disagreements around authorship in joint endeavours


Trade Secrets and Know-How

  • Proves the possession of trade secret at a given point in time
  • Discourages possible theft or misuse


Research and Data

  • Mitigates risks associated with future disputes
  • Creates a version history for iterations of software code, research results and lab notes


Life Sciences

  • Provides evidence on possession of a parent line or information about a microorganism
  • Discourages theft or misuse


Artificial Intelligence

  • Pre-empts unlawful behaviour related to data
  • Provides evidence on prior possession of a specific data set


Other Digital Assets

  • Establishes prior art and prior use defence
  • Assists auditing and compliance activities
  • Supports complex investigations, e.g. forensic science
  • Supports insurance industry with certification of damage documentation
  • Protects contracts and certificates against forgery and tampering
  • Aids with internal content management



The cost per token is CHF20, but discounts are offered in the form of bundles for bulk purchases, including the option for API integration to manage high volume workflow. The verification of the token is free of charge. More information about the process can be found here. 

The contents about WIPO PROOF service are adapted from the WIPO PROOF website.

WIPO PROOF is a service offered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation and IPOS is supportive of this initiative. Please click on the link here to access WIPO PROOF's FAQ.

Webinars Offered by WIPO

Periodically, WIPO offers a complete guide to the use of WIPO PROOF, addressing features and best practices coming from our users' experience. They will be available to answer questions coming from the audience. Click on the link hereto find out more.