AfterDawn: Glossary

World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, is an agency created by the United Nations to promote intellectual property rights internationally.

The WIPO was created in 1967 with the signing of the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, although it didn't begin operations until 1970. It was originally intended as a replacement for the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property, an international agency headquartered in Berne, Switzerland that was responsible for the enforcement of both the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) and Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1873).

In 1974 the WIPO became an agency of the United Nations. Its current purpose is the promotion of intellectual property as a force for economic development among all UN member states. This largely involves the development of international treaties to ensure cooperation between countries on a variety of IP enforcement related issues.

Since the 1990s the WIPO's role in the enforcement of intellectual property rights has largely been supplanted by the World Trade Organization.


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