Árpád Bogsch (1919 - 2004)

A bust of Arpad Bogsch, work of the sculptor Tibor Borbás (1942-1995) and donation of Mrs. Lászlóné Szentiványi, born Emilia Bogsch, was unveiled on 24th September 2012 in the Chamber Hall of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office. At the ceremony Dr. Miklós Bendzsel, President of the HIPO praised the lifework as well as the public and professional achievements of Árpád Bogsch.
Árpád Bogsch, the prominent personality of the universal protection of intellectual property, the founding father of the system of modern intellectual property protection was born on February 24, 1919 in Budapest. After having obtained his doctorate in law he began his professional career in 1942 as an attorney, and then in 1948, he moved to Paris where he joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Copyright Division as a legal officer. In 1954, he took up a post as legal counsellor at the U.S Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. and became an American citizen in 1959. He returned to Europe in 1963 when he was appointed to the position of Deputy Director at the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI). His unique career in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the successor of the BIRPI begun in 1971, when he was appointed to the position of Deputy Director General of the organization. Later on, during 24 years, from 1973 until 1997, through four mandates he occupied the position of Director General of WIPO as well as that of Secretary General of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).

The work of Árpád Bogsch  at the head of WIPO was characterized by continuous development. As a result of his efforts, under his successful leadership until 1997, WIPO grew into a large and robust, internationally recognized institution, after it had joined the structure of the United Nations system in 1974 and became one of the UN's specialised agencies. The headquarters building of WIPO, an architectural landmark in Geneva and which today carries his name was also built under his direction. A tireless visionary, he continuously sought for the road towards pioneering innovations. One of Árpád Bogsch's most important works, which is considered by the international community as an outstanding historical result, was the setting up of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, concluded under the auspices of WIPO. His name is also linked to, among others, the reorganisation of the system for the international registration of trademarks, to the conclusion of the Budapest Treaty on the Deposit of Microorganisms, or to the two treaties created in 1996 in the field of copyright, which modernized the copyright and related rights by adapting them to the new digital environment.

He worked with firm perseverance and true vocation for the consolidation and development of the universal intellectual property protection system and of WIPO: during his leadership some fifty new countries joined the organization. In parallel, and through his constructive work, he greatly contributed to the building of the national IP systems of many developing countries. His exceptional managing and diplomatic skills, his deep and thorough professional knowledge earned him international appreciation and respect.

His renown is attested by the numerous international and national decorations and honorary titles awarded to him. The President of Hungary recognized his work and career by awarding him the Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 1996 and the President's commemorative gold medal in 1997. In 2004, on his 85th birthday, he was bestowed in Geneva with a honoris causa Jedlik Ányos Award, established in 1996 on the initiative of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office - then Hungarian Patent Office - to recognize those prominent personalities who have greatly contributed to the development of the Hungarian IP culture and IP awareness. His biography immortalizing his exemplary intellectual heritage, titled "Intellect and Law" was published in Hungarian in August 2004 under the editorship of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.

Árpád Bogsch passed away on September 19, 2004, at the age of 86.

15 July 2012