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World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization dedicated to facilitating worldwide protection of the rights of creators and owners of intellectual property.

WIPO's origin dates back to 1883 in Geneva, Switzerland when the Paris Convention entered into force and an International Bureau was set up to carry out administrative tasks. This International Bureau evolved over time to become known in 1970 as WIPO. In 1974, WIPO became a specialized agency of the United Nations and in 1996, WIPO expanded its role into globalized trade by entering into a cooperation agreement with the World Trade Organization.

WIPO currently has 182 states (as of 26 Sept 2005) that are members of the organization and administers 23 treaties (two of which are in conjunction with other international organizations).
The 23 treaties administered by WIPO are divided into three classes:

  1. Intellectual Property Treaties that define the internationally agreed basic standards of intellectual property protection; e.g. Paris Convention
  2. Global Protection System Treaties that aim to ensure that one international registration or filing will have effect in any of the relevant signatory States; e.g. PCT and Budapest Treaty.
  3. Classification Treaties that create systems that organize information concerning inventions into indexed structures to enable easy retrieval; e.g. International Patent Classification (IPC).

Through these treaties, WIPO seeks to harmonize national intellectual property legislation and procedures; provide services for international applications for industrial property rights; exchange intellectual property information; provide legal and technical assistance to developing countries; facilitate the resolution of private intellectual property disputes; and marshal information technology as a tool for storing, accessing and using valuable intellectual property information.

While the cornerstones of WIPO's treaty system remain the Paris Convention (relating to patents) and the Berne Convention (relating to copyright), subsequent treaties have not only widened and deepened the protection they offer, but have encompassed technological change and new areas of interest and concern. A selected number of patent treaties administered by WIPO are briefly presented below.

The information contained in this page was believed to be correct at the time it was collated. New patents and patent applications, altered status of patents, and case law may have resulted in changes in the landscape. CAMBIA makes no warranty that it is correct or up to date at this time and accepts no liability for any use that might be made of it. Corrections or updates to the information are welcome. Please send an email to info@bios.net.

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