Statutes of the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA)
(in force )
This Federation is an unincorporated body without separate legal entity in any country.
Name and Location:
The name of the organization shall be the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA).
The Office of the Federation will be situated at the address of the President.
Objects of the Federation
The objects of the Federation are:
(a) Members of the Federation can be full members, candidate members, collaborating members or corresponding members.
Full members will have voting status and will normally be national associations the aims and activities of which correspond broadly to those of the Federation and the statutes of the Federation.
Candidate members will not be voting members and will normally be associations in the early stages of development.
Corresponding members will not be voting members and will normally be individuals or associations which may or may not be involved with innovation as such.
Collaborating members will not be voting members.
(b) Exceptionally, and only where no suitable association exists, personal members, acting in a similar capacity, or temporarily acting pending formation of a national association may be admitted for a period of one year at a time.
Admission to Membership
a) Membership of the Federation shall comprise its founder members and any new members admitted by decision of the General Assembly.
b) The Executive Committee is authorized to admit new members of all grades and to establish collaboration relationship with other organizations or persons.
Cessation of Membership
The Federation shall be governed by a General Assembly operating through an Executive Committee, the General Assembly being composed of a delegation of not more than three delegates from each country one of whom shall be the head delegate and not more than three observers, who shall not have the right to speak in the Assembly, but an observer may exceptionally have the right to speak by request if the Assembly agrees. Each country shall have one vote.
Candidate and corresponding members and the collaborating organizations may each send not more than two observers to the General Assembly.
In cases exceptionally of more than one full member from a country each of such members shall be entitled to appoint up to three delegates.
Duties of General Assembly
The General Assembly is the supreme governing body of the Federation. Its duties are:
General Assembly Voting
Decisions of the General Assembly shall be reached in the following ways:
Every full member shall have one vote. An absent delegation may also send its vote for one or more questions on the Agenda.
All members may participate in the discussions but only full members shall have the right to vote. Personal members may participate in the discussions but shall have no right to vote.
A quorum of three members is necessary to hold a meeting.
Unless otherwise stated in the following section, a resolution is carried if the votes given in favor of it are more than one half of the total number of possible membership votes. When the number of votes in favor is exactly one half of the total General Assembly votes, the presiding Chairman shall have a casting vote.
In questions concerning:
a) amendment of the Statutes;
b) dissolution of the Federation;
c) admission or expulsion of members;
d) transfer of the right to appoint a head delegate from one member to another, when there are several members from one country (Article 6);
e) changing the amount of the annual subscription;
The votes in favor must be at least two thirds of the total possible General Assembly votes to carry the resolution. For items (a) or (b) the resolution must be carried on two separate occasions (one of which may be by circular letter) within a period of thirteen months.
Questions which cannot without detriment be postponed to the next ordinary meeting, and are not considered to justify the casts of an extraordinary meeting, may be decided upon by sending the question to all delegates in writing together with the comments and opinions sent by delegates to the Secretariat in advance. In the accompanying letter, which shall be confirmed by a second letter within one week, it shall be specifically stated that answers will be treated as a vote. In such a case a decision shall be reached by a majority of votes received.
Minutes shall be drawn up of all decisions made under subparagraphs (1) and (2) hereof and drafts thereof shall be sent to all delegates. If no objection is raised within two weeks, they shall be signed by the President, and the final Minutes then sent to all members and delegates. In case of objection the Minutes shall be settled and signed at the next meeting.
The only compulsory meetings of the Federation shall be meetings of the General Assembly which shall be as follows:
1. The Biennial Assembly is to be held in the month of May or such other time as shall be decided by the General Assembly or the Executive Committee. A draft of the Executive Committee's Report/President's Report and a preliminary agenda shall be sent to the delegates three months in advance. Motions from the delegates must be received by the Secretariat not less than six weeks before the date of the meeting. These motions, with the investigations and comments of the Executive Committee/President thereon and with information of other questions and the final agenda shall be circulated at least three weeks before the meeting.
Such agenda shall include the election of the President, the Executive Committee /President's report, the budget of the Federation and any proposed changes in the annual subscription.
2. Extraordinary meetings shall be summoned when the President deems it necessary or it is demanded in writing by at least half of the delegates. The Executive Committee may submit a report to the President proposing the need for an extraordinary meeting. The summons shall include a preliminary agenda, and the delegates may within one month add further items to the agenda.
The final agenda shall be circulated to all delegates not less than three weeks before the meeting. The place of the next meeting shall be determined by the General Assembly or, failing the General Assembly, by the President on the advice of the Executive Committee.
President and Secretariat
b. report on the activities of the Federation in each ordinary session, and he shall present in each such session, together with the recommendations of the Executive Committee, the draft Program and Budget;
The official language of the Federation shall be English. All discussions in the General Assembly as well as minutes, documents and reports shall be made in English, which also shall be used in all correspondence between the Secretariat and the members.
When it is found desirable and practically and economically feasible, the General Assembly may arrange congresses in different countries for the discussion of questions of common interest within the realms of the Federation, in order to promote interest in such problems by the public and within the member associations of the Federation.
The theme, program and organization of a congress shall be decided upon by the General Assembly.
All members of the member associations shall have the right to attend a congress. In addition, the General Assembly may invite such persons or organizations as it may think fit.
A congress may pass recommendations to the General Assembly but shall have no right to make decisions on behalf of the Federation.
Obligations of Member Associations
It is the duty of any member which is an association:
To send the Secretariat without delay excerpts of minutes – in their native language and in English translation – giving the names of appointed head delegate and other delegates.
To send before the end of January each year a statement on the number of members in the member association at 1st January.
To send without delay the annual report of the member association in the native language when it has been finally approved, and within two months from said date a translation in English.
To pay all subscriptions to the Federation which have been duly decided by General Assembly.
To keep the Secretariat informed within its capacity of any events in its country in the field of inventors and inventions likely to be of major interest.
Member Associations, who due to cognate languages, similarity of laws in the invention field, geographical situation or for other reasons may derive advantage of regional co-operation in simpler and less expensive forms, may form a regional body. The Statutes of the Body shall be compatible with the Statutes of this Federation, and shall be communicated to the Federation in the same way as Statutes of member associations (see Article 14).
Such bodies shall have no delegate in the General Assembly and no special rights within this Federation.
The mandate as delegate to the General Assembly is honorary and delegates are not entitled to remuneration or compensation from the Federation. Salaries and compensation for the Executive Committee and the Secretariat shall be decide by the General Assembly with due regard to the means at its disposal.
The subscriptions from the member associations shall be fixed in proportion to the number of members in each member association at 1st January each year, and subscription for individual members shall be determined by the Executive Committee and submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
The General Assembly shall cause accounts to be kept of the sums of money received and expended by the Federation. Books of Account shall be kept at the offices of the Federation, and shall be open to inspection by members on any day during the usual working hours.
Once at least in every year the Accounts of the Federation shall be examined and the correctness of the Balance Sheet ascertained by one or more Auditors nominated by the General Assembly.
Amendment of the Statutes
These Statutes may be amended by a resolution carried by at least two thirds of the total possible General Assembly votes on two separate occasions (one of which may be by circular letter decision) within a period of thirteen months (see Article 8(2)). Attention shall be specifically drawn to the proposed amendment on the agenda.
Dissolution of the Federation
A proposal for the dissolution of the Federation shall be treated in the same way as amendments of Statutes. The assets may not be divided among the members, but with the records shall be made over to international organizations or institutions with approved objectives in the field of invention to be used in accordance with conditions laid down by the General Assembly (see Article 8 (1) (b)).