What is WIPO?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized organism belonging to the United Nations. Its purpose is to develop an international system of intellectual property (IP) that shows equilibrium, accessibility and that compensates creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development and that protects the public interest.
This organism was created in 1957 and it is based in Geneva, Switzerland. By February 2014, WIPO comprised 186 members. It controls 26 agreements of IP.
Its Director General is Francis Gurry since 2008. He was elected to perform this position from 2008 to 2014. Nowadays, after being reelected on March 6 2014 for the 2014 – 2020 period, he is awaiting a confirmation for such period. This decision is to be made during the next General Assembly. He previously performed as Deputy Director General of the organism. He was in charge of patents and PCT system, the Arbitration and Mediation Center, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources.
Goals and functions
The goals and strategic guidelines of the WIPO evolve according to the needs of the member states, which are defined by the member states both through the work of the permanent committees and through the budget approved every two years. Its main goal is to develop an international system of intellectual property (IP) that shows equilibrium, accessibility and that compensates creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development and that protects the public interest.
Among the functions of the WIPO we can include:
Assistance to governments and organizations so as to boost policies, structures and skills necessary for using the benefits offered by Intellectual Property to the economic development.
To collaborate with the member states so as to elaborate international regulations for IP.
To administer treaties and world record systems within the sphere of trademarks, industrial designs and origin denominations.
To manage the patent presentation system.
To serve as a forum for discussion and interchange of specialized knowledge.
Its scope of action comprises intellectual property, copyright and related rights; industrial rights such as trademark, other symbols rights and patent rights; genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural manifestations as well as the implementation of the agenda for development.
WITO controls 26 agreements that establish rights and obligations agreed internationally as well as common regulations for the protection of intellectual property rights and the equilibrium with the general public interest.
During 2012 the Beijing treaty was approved. This treaty incorporates audiovisual performing artists to the international intellectual property right system, which enhances and reinforces patrimonial rights of artists.
So as to maintain equilibrium with the public interest, in 2013 a treaty aimed at promoting the access of visual impaired people to copyright reserved information in adapted formats was approved.
Member Countries of WIPO
WIPO member states determine strategic orientation, Budget and the activities of the organization through its entities. Nowadays it comprises 186 member states. In order to become a member, a state must provide a ratification or adhesion instrument in power of the Director General. The WIPO agreement states that the following can become members:
- Any state member of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property or a member of the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary Artistic Works;
- Any state member of the United Nations or any of its specialized organisms or the International Atomic Energy Agency, or a part of the statute of the International Court of Justice; and
- All state invited by the WIPO General Assembly to become a member of the organization.
As for the operation of WIPO, we can mention that the members determine the strategic guideline and approve the activities of the organism. The delegates of the member states gather in assemblies, committees and work teams.
The Organization operates through a series of government organisms such as General Assemblies which includes the General Assembly of WIPO (main plenary body) and the assemblies of the agreements organized by WIPO (such as the Madrid Assembly or the PCT Assembly) and the Coordination Committee, which proposes the candidate for Director General and assists the organization on administrative and financial matters.
Apart from these government organisms, WIPO is composed by a series of committees. There are two types of committees: Permanent Committees, conformed by experts of each area. They gather twice a year in Geneva. Some of them are:
- Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP). This committee is evaluating and exploring exceptions and limitations to the law of patents and also the quality of the patents provided in the different patent offices and the relationship among patents and health.
- Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT). Continues discussing holding a diplomatic conference for negotiating an international instrument that can facilitate the procedure of Industrial Design registration.
- Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), continues discussing on settling a treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organisms. Likewise, it continues working on a legal international instrument regarding exceptions and limitations for Libraries and Files, and another instrument for establishing exceptions and limitations for educational institutions, teachers and research.
- Apart from the aforementioned committees, there are two ad-hoc committees in charge of developing specific tasks but that gather permanent and regularly at WIPO as well as the permanent committees. They are:
- Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), which continues working on the implementation of the 45 recommendations of the Agenda for Development. Within this context, it is expected that discussions regarding implementing the agenda for development and also on the different projects carried out by this committee move forward. Between 2012 and 2013 Chile was involved in a study on intellectual property and its socioeconomic impact.
- The Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore (IGC). It sustains negotiations with the purpose of reaching agreement on an international legal instrument that ensure an effective protection of traditional knowledge, cultural manifestations and genetic resources.
When a committee determines that there has been enough progress to decide on a treaty, the General Assembly can summon to a Diplomatic Conference. These conferences are high level member meetings aimed at discussing a new treaty.
Treaties on international classification of goods and services, such as the Locarno, Nice, Strasbourg and Vienna agreements, established permanent Committees of Experts with a mandate periodically to revise and update the classification systems. Likewise, any of the Governing Bodies can constitute committees as required. More
Chile and WIPO
The participation of Chile in this forum is the result of a coordination work developed by the Department of Intellectual Property of DIRECON as Coordinator of the Inter-ministerial Committee of Experts in Intellectual Property (CTEPI). This Committee is composed by DEPI DIRECON, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, National Council of Culture and Arts, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economy, Institute of Public Health, National Institute of Industrial Property, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Farming Service and the department of Intellectual Property Rights of the Library, Files and Museums Direction.
At the moment, Chile has an active participation in each of the committees of WIPO and shows the image of the country that has been previously coordinated with the members of CTEPI. Likewise, within this organism, Chile participates in the coordination work with the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) composed of the other countries within our region.
Chile has signed the following treaties administered by WIPO:
- Berne Convention for the Protection of literary and Artistic Works.
- Rome Convention for the protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
- Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization.
- Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms
- The Nairobi Treaty on the protection of the Olympic symbol
- The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- The WIPO Copyright Treaty.
- The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)
- The Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Brussels Convention Relating to the Distribution of Program Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite
- Trademark Law treaty (TLT)
- Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the purposes of Patent Procedures
- Marrakech Treaty for facilitating access to published works for the visually impaired or with difficulty to have Access to printed text.
- Beijing Treaty on broadcasting interpretation and performance.
In the following links you will find relevant information regarding Chile as well as some of the platforms executed by WIPO in order to improve the benefits from the intellectual property rights for all.
- Laws, Rules/Regulations, Geographic Indications, Treaty Approval and others
- Cooperation South-South
- WIPO Green – Market for Sustainable Technology
- WIPO Research
- Bilateral Relations
- Forums and Multilateral Organizations
- Information Center
- Press Room