Digital 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 manage 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. Its use extends to being used as evidence during litigation. One example is WIPO PROOF, launched by WIPO in May 2020.


The contents regarding the WIPO Proof service on this webpage were adapted from the WIPO PROOF website. IPOS is not responsible for the content or availability of third party linked sites.



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 on the process can be found here on the WIPO PROOF website.

Benefits of WIPO PROOF

  • Verifiable evidence to be used in legal disputes
  • Pre-empt unlawful behaviour
  • Cost effective
  • Available in many languages
  • Digital intellectual asset remains confidential


While WIPO PROOF does not replace protection provided by IP registrations, it is a 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 on the process can be found here on the WIPO PROOF website.

WIPO PROOF is a service offered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Please click on the link here to access WIPO PROOF’s FAQ.

Periodically, WIPO offers a complete guide to the use of WIPO PROOF, addressing features and best practices. You may wish to find out more on the WIPO PROOF website by clicking here.

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