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World Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies[2][3][1] of the United Nations (UN). WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world".[6]

WIPO currently has 192 member states,[7] administers 26 international treaties,[8] and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry, who took office on 1 October 2008.[9] 188 of the UN member states as well as the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue are members of WIPO. Non-members are the states of Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and South Sudan. Palestine has permanent observer status.[10]

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 for "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.[11] 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[12] notes in Article 1 that WIPO is responsible

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.[13]

Unlike other branches of the United Nations, WIPO has significant financial resources independent of the contributions from its Member States. In 2006, over 90 percent of its income of just over CHF 250 million[14] was expected to be generated from the collection of fees by the International Bureau (IB) under the intellectual property application and registration systems which it administers (the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Madrid system for trademarks and the Hague system for industrial designs).

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.[15] This proposal was well supported by developing countries. The agreed "WIPO Development Agenda"[16] (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)[17] 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.[18] WIPO is also a co-publisher of the Global Innovation Index.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

World Intellectual Property Indicators


World Intellectual Property Indicators is an annual report published by the WIPO, 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.[22] The WIPO have published the reports annually since 2009.[23]

Directors-General


See also


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