What is the World Intellectual Property Organization?
Established in 1970, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization dedicated to helping ensure that the rights of creators and owners of intellectual property are protected worldwide, and that inventors and authors are therefore recognized and rewarded for their ingenuity. This international protection acts as a spur to human creativity, pushing back the limits of science and technology and enriching the world of literature and the arts. By providing a stable environment for marketing products protected by intellectual property, it also oils the wheels of international trade. WIPO works closely with its Member States and other constituents to ensure the intellectual property system remains a supple and adaptable tool for prosperity and well-being, crafted to help realize the full potential of created works for present and future generations.
How does WIPO promote the protection of intellectual property?
As part of the United Nations system of specialized agencies, WIPO serves as a forum for its Member States to establish and harmonize rules and practices for the protection of intellectual property rights. WIPO also services global registration systems for trademarks, industrial designs and appellations of origin, and a global filing system for patents. These systems are under regular review by WIPO’s Member States and other stakeholders to determine how they can be improved to better serve the needs of users and potential users. Many industrialized nations have intellectual property protection systems that are centuries old. Among newer or developing countries, however, many are in the process of building up their patent, trademark and copyright legal frameworks and intellectual property systems. With the increasing globalization of trade and rapid changes in technological innovation, WIPO plays a key role in helping these systems to evolve through treaty negotiation; legal and technical assistance; and training in various forms, including in the area of enforcement. WIPO works with its Member States to make available information on intellectual property and outreach tools for a range of audiences – from the grassroots level through to the business sector and policymakers – to ensure its benefits are well recognized, properly understood and accessible to all.
How is WIPO funded?
WIPO is a largely self-financed organization, generating more than 90 percent of its annual budget through its widely used international registration and filing systems, as well as through its publications and arbitration and mediation services. The remaining funds come from contributions by Member States.