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World Intellectual Property Organization

Specialised agency of the United Nations
"WIPO" redirects here. For other uses, see Wipo.
World Intellectual Property Organization
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
World Intellectual Property Organization Logo.svg
AbbreviationWIPO
Formation14 July 1967
TypeUnited Nations specialised agency
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Head
Director-General
Daren Tang
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council
Websitewww.wipo.int
A coloured voting box.svg Politics portal
The United Nations Office at Geneva (Switzerland) is the second biggest UN centre, after the United Nations Headquarters (New York City).

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations. It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention entered into force.

WIPO's activities include hosting forums to discuss and shape international IP rules and policies, providing global services that register and protect IP in different countries, resolving transboundary IP disputes, helping connect IP systems through uniform standards and infrastructure, and serving as a general reference database on all IP matters; this includes providing reports and statistics on the state of IP protection or innovation both globally and in specific countries. WIPO also works with governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socioeconomic development.

WIPO administers 26 international treaties that concern a wide variety of IP issues, ranging from the protection of broadcasts to establishing international patent classification. It is governed by the General Assembly and the Coordination Committee, which together set policy and serve as the main decision making bodies. The General Assembly also elects WIPO's chief administrator, the Director-General, currently Francis Gurry of Australia, who took office on 1 October 2008 and was reappointed in May 2014 for a second six-year term. WIPO is administered by a secretariat that helps carry out its day-to-day activities.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO has "external offices" around the world, including in Algiers, Algeria; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Beijing, China, Tokyo, Japan; Moscow, Russia; and Singapore. Unlike most UN organizations, WIPO does not rely heavily on assessed or voluntary contributions from member states; 95 percent of its budget comes from fees related to its global services.

WIPO currently has 193 member states, including 190 UN member states and the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue; Palestine has permanent observer status. The only nonmembers are the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudan.

History

The predecessor to WIPO was the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (Bureaux Internationaux Réunis pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle, with the French acronym "BIRPI"), which had been established in 1893 to administer the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

WIPO was formally created by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, which entered into force on 26 April 1970. That date is commemorated annually as World Intellectual Property Day, which raises awareness of the importance of IP. Under Article 3 of this Convention, WIPO seeks to "promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world". WIPO became a specialized agency of the UN in 1974. The Agreement between the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Organization notes in Article 1 that WIPO is responsible

WIPO headquarters, Geneva

for promoting creative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development, subject to the competence and responsibilities of the United Nations and its organs, particularly the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, as well as of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and of other agencies within the United Nations system.

WIPO members
  Members
  Non-members

The Agreement marked a transition for WIPO from the mandate it inherited in 1967 from BIRPI, to promote the protection of intellectual property, to one that involved the more complex task of promoting technology transfer and economic development.

Unlike other branches of the United Nations, WIPO has significant financial resources independent of the contributions from its Member States. In 2018, WIPO's revenue amounted to CHF 430.6 million. 74.6% of WIPO's 2018 revenue was generated from its Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) fees.

In September 2020 China blocked the Wikimedia Foundation from observer status at the WIPO citing the existence of a Wikimedia affiliate in Taiwan. According to the Chinese statement "there is reason to believe that this foundation has been carrying out political activities through its member organizations which could undermine the state's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Development agenda

In October 2004, WIPO agreed to adopt a proposal offered by Argentina and Brazil, the "Proposal for the Establishment of a Development Agenda for WIPO"—from the Geneva Declaration on the Future of the World Intellectual Property Organization. This proposal was well supported by developing countries. The agreed "WIPO Development Agenda" (composed of over 45 recommendations) was the culmination of a long process of transformation for the organization from one that had historically been primarily aimed at protecting the interests of rightholders, to one that has increasingly incorporated the interests of other stakeholders in the international intellectual property system as well as integrating into the broader corpus of international law on human rights, environment and economic cooperation.

A number of civil society bodies have been working on a draft Access to Knowledge (A2K) treaty which they would like to see introduced.

In December 2011, WIPO published its first World Intellectual Property Report on the Changing Face of Innovation, the first such report of the new Office of the Chief Economist. WIPO is also a co-publisher of the Global Innovation Index.

Information network

WIPO has established WIPOnet, a global information network. The project seeks to link over 300 intellectual property offices (IP offices) in all WIPO Member States. In addition to providing a means of secure communication among all connected parties, WIPOnet is the foundation for WIPO's intellectual property services.

Economics and Statistics Division

WIPO's Economics and Statistics Division gathers data on intellectual property activity worldwide and publishes statistics to the public. The Division also conducts economic analysis on how government IP and innovation policies affect economic performance.

World Intellectual Property Indicators

Main article: World Intellectual Property Indicators

Since 2009, WIPO has published the annual World Intellectual Property Indicators, providing a wide range of indicators covering the areas of intellectual property. It draws on data from national and regional IP offices, the WIPO, the World Bank, and UNESCO.

Directors-General

WIPO Directors-General
No.TermNameFrom
11970–1973Georg Bodenhausen Netherlands
21973–1997Árpád Bogsch United States
31997–2008Kamil Eltayeb Idris Sudan
42008–2020Francis Gurry Australia
52020–actualDaren Tang Singapore

On 1 October 2020, Daren Tang of Singapore succeeded Gurry as Director-General. His candidacy was backed by the United States over China's preferred candidate, Wang Binying.

Other topics

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article World Intellectual Property Organization, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).


Date of last edit: 2021-01-28T19:50:09.000Z