World Intellectual Property Organisation

(Redirected from World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO))

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations, which is “dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development whilst safeguarding the public interest”.


International Disability Print Exemption

The WIPO deals with copyright issues and matters of international print exemption for disabled people. A number of recommendations have been put forward, including one by the World Blind Union, and the EU. It is currently undergoing a period of drafting a treaty to increase the access to texts for visually impaired persons.[1] However a number of actors including the World Blind Union have suggested that the proposed treaty in its current form is inadequate, with Hammerstein suggesting that “hey want to establish a firewall against copyright flexibilities even if holding millions of blind people hostages.” [2] Following an extraordinary session, the General Assembly has chosen to convene a diplomatic conference in 2013 to complete negotiations on a pact to improve access to copyrighted works for the many visually impaired and people with print disabilities around the world.[3]

Key Personnel

  • Director-General: Francis Gurry
  • Deputy Director-General (Development): Geoffrey Onyeama
  • Deputy Director-General (Trademarks): Wang Binying
  • Deputy Director-General (Patents): James Pooley
  • Deputy Director-General (Global Issues): Johannes Christian Wichard


They have administered numerous treaties on the subject of intellectual property:

  • 1883: Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • 1886: Berne Convention
  • 1925: Hague Agreement (International Registration of Industrial Designs)
  • 1958: Lisbon Agreement (Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration)
  • 1961: Rome Convention (Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations)
  • 1970: Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (Makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international” patent application)
  • 1971: Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against unauthorised duplication of their phonograms
  • 1974: Brussels Convention (Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite)
  • 1977: Budapest Treaty (International Registration of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure)
  • 1981: Nairobi Treaty on Protection of the Olympic symbol
  • 1981: Madrid Agreement (International Registration of Marks)
  • 1989: Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement
  • 1994: Trademark Law Treaty (to approximate and streamline national and regional trademark procedures)
  • 1996: WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)
  • 1996: WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)
  • 2000: Patent Law Treaty
  • 2006: Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks
  • 2007: Unsuccessfully, the WIPO Broadcast Treaty
  • 2012: WIPO Visually Impaired Treaty (in motion - deadline conference scheduled for 2013)

Further Information