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World Intellectual Property Organization

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Overview Edit

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

WIPO currently has 184 member states,[2] administers 23 international treaties,[3] and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Vatican City and almost all UN members are members of the WIPO. Non-participating are the states of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, the entities of Palestinian Authority, Sahrawi Republic, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, East Timor, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

"[WIPO] helps to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) in ICT technologies, products, software, applications and services, as well as to resolve disputes about these rights. In something of a departure from its "self-regulatory" tradition, the Internet community uses WIPO to resolve disputes about the ownership of some Internet domain names. The international protection for IPRs traditionally provided by WIPO has been enhanced by the provisions of the 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)."[4]

History Edit

The predecessor to WIPO was the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI) (Bureaux Internationaux Réunis pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle, French acronym for United International Bureau for the Protection of Intellectual Property), which had been set up 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 (Signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967 and as amended on September 28, 1979). 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, as above-mentioned.

Unlike other branches of the United Nations, WIPO has significant financial resources independent of the contributions from its Member States. In 2006, over 90% of its income of around Swiss franc 500m is 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).

Much of the important work is done through committees, including for example the Standing Committee on Patents (SCP), the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), the Advisory Committee on Enforcement (ACE), and the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) on Access to Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, and the Working Group on Reform of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Conventions Edit

The principal WIPO copyright and neighboring rights conventions include the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris 1971) (Berne Convention),[5] the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome Convention),[6] and the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against the Unauthorized Reproduction of their Phonograms (Geneva Phonograms Convention).[7] UNESCO[8] and WIPO jointly administer the Universal Copyright Convention (Paris 1971),[9] which is a lower-level copyright convention that was negotiated in the years following World War II largely to bring the United States into the world of international copyright. Virtually all of the members of the Universal Copyright Convention are also members of the Berne Convention, and by the terms of the conventions the Berne Convention governs relations between members of both.

Dispute resolution Edit

WIPO has an Arbitration and Mediation Center that was established in 1994 to offer services for the resolution of disputes. WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Center has been a provider for UDRP disputes since December 1, 1999.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, Preamble, second paragraph.
  2. List of members states of WIPO
  3. Treaties administered by WIPO
  4. ROADMAP: Global Policymaking for Information and Communications Technologies, at 23-24.
  5. Berne Convention (with Appendix) for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 9, 1886, completed at Paris on May 4, 1896, revised at Berlin on November 13, 1908, completed at Berne on March 20, 1914, revised at Rome on June 2, 1928, at Brussels on June 26, 1948, at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and at Paris on July 24, 1971, amended at Paris on July 24, 1979. Done at Paris on July 24, 1971; entered into force for the United States on March 1, 1989.
  6. There were 48 members of the convention as of July 1, 1995, but the United States is not a member. The Rome Convention is jointly administered by WIPO, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  7. Done at Geneva on October 29, 1971; entered into force on April 18, 1973; for the United States on March 10, 1974. 25 UST 309; TIAS 7808; 888 UNTS 67. There were 53 members of the Convention as of July 1, 1995.
  8. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  9. Universal Copyright Convention, as revised, with two protocols annexed thereto. Done at Paris on July 24, 1971, entered into force on July 10, 1974, 25 UST 1341; TIAS 7868. As of May 31, 1995, there were 96 members of the Convention.

See also Edit


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