World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).[1][2][notes 1] Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations.[5] It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention entered into force. The current Director General is Singaporean Daren Tang, former head of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, who began his term on 1 October 2020.[6]

World Intellectual Property Organization
AbbreviationWIPO
Formation14 July 1967; 54 years ago (1967-07-14)
TypeUnited Nations specialised agency
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Membership
193 member states
Head
Daren Tang
Director General
Parent organization
United Nations Economic and Social Council
Websitewww.wipo.int
 Politics portal
The United Nations Office at Geneva (Switzerland) is the second biggest UN centre, after the United Nations Headquarters (New York City).

WIPO's activities include hosting forums to discuss and shape international IP rules and policies, providing global services that register and protect IP in different countries, resolving transboundary IP disputes, helping connect IP systems through uniform standards and infrastructure, and serving as a general reference database on all IP matters; this includes providing reports and statistics on the state of IP protection or innovation both globally and in specific countries.[7] WIPO also works with governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socioeconomic development.

WIPO administers 26 international treaties that concern a wide variety of intellectual property issues, ranging from the protection of audiovisual works to establishing international patent classification.[8] It is governed by the General Assembly and the Coordination Committee, which together set policy and serve as the main decision making bodies. The General Assembly also elects WIPO's chief administrator, the Director General, currently Daren Tang of Singapore, who took office on 1 October 2020.[9] WIPO is administered by a Secretariat that helps carry out its day-to-day activities.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO has "external offices" around the world, including in Algiers (Algeria); Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Beijing (China), Tokyo (Japan); Abuja (Nigeria); Moscow (Russia); and Singapore (Singapore).[10] Unlike most UN organizations, WIPO does not rely heavily on assessed or voluntary contributions from member states; 95 percent of its budget comes from fees related to its global services.[11]

WIPO currently has 193 member states,[12] including 190 UN member states and the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue; Palestine has permanent observer status.[13] The only non-members, among the countries recognised by the UN are the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudan.