World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the UN specialized agency promoting the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.
“Intellectual property” has two main branches: industrial property (patents and other rights in technological inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, appellations of origin, for example); and copyright (in literary, musical and artistic works, in films, performances of performing artists, phonograms, for example).
WIPO promotes the worldwide protection of such intellectual property through cooperation among states, and by administering treaties covering certain intellectual property areas.
One of the most important activities of WIPO is the setting of norms and procedures for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. In recent years WIPO has become increasingly involved in a wide range of intellectual property issues related to the Internet and electronic commerce, including playing a leading role in the resolution of disputes over domain names.
Today, WIPO administers 23 treaties including the two original pillars of the international system for the protection of intellectual property: the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Members of the conventions must accord the same patent and other industrial-property protection (Paris Convention) or copyright protection (Berne Convention) to the nationals of other members states as they accord to their own nationals.
A substantial part of the activities and resources of WIPO is devoted to helping developing countries to establish or modernize their intellectual property systems. Such cooperation includes training officials in the field of intellectual property and modernizing legislation and institutions in the field.. At the request of interested governments, WIPO provides advice in the formulation of new, or the improvement of existing, legislation relating to intellectual property.
Further details can be found on the WIPO website www.wipo.org