The World Intellectual Property Organization is a Geneva-based organisation dedicated to supporting creative activity and advancing intellectual property protection around the world. WIPO is one of the United Nations’ 15 specialised agencies. The World Intellectual Property Organization currently has 193 members. WIPO’s initial mission was to promote intellectual property protection, but when it joined the United Nations in 1974, the goal was reinterpreted as public interest or humanitarian goal. Article 1 of the key agreement establishing WIPO’s relationship with the UN restates WIPO’s purpose as: “for promoting creative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to the industrial property to the developing countries to accelerate economic, social and cultural development…”
WIPO is a unique organisation among UN organisations in that its activities are mostly self-funded. According to WIPO’s Program and Budget for 2020-2021, the estimated income for the biennium is approximately 880 million Swiss francs, while the expected expenditure is 768 million Swiss francs. The organization’s fees for services are estimated to generate roughly 95% of the planned income, according to WIPO.
WIPO aims to create a comprehensive, well-balanced, and effective system for protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights. Article 1 of the 1974 agreement between WIPO and the UN states that “to accelerate economic, social, and cultural development”; this is a revised version from what it previously stated, and this occurred because WIPO became a part of the UN, and the UN works for a broader set of people and is dedicated to the development of the global society.
Work towards gender equality- WIPO seeks to establish an environment in which men and women are treated equally and hold key and decision-making roles equally. WIPO, as the UN’s principal agency, has sponsored several projects aimed at raising awareness, creating capacity, and fostering leadership.
Leadership- The International Gender Champions Network is the name of a global initiative led by women. Francis Gurry, the Director-General of WIPO at the time, was one of the first people to join this effort when it was launched in 2015.
Raising Gender Awareness- WIPO has undertaken several projects aimed at raising gender awareness, such as Celebrating Women’s Achievements, with the 2018 World Intellectual Property Day campaign titled “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.”
Another example of WIPO’s gender equality initiatives is the strengthening of data collection on women’s use of the IP system. The annual data showing Intellectual Property Indicators and Patent Cooperation Treaty Yearly Review will provide data on the gender dimension of international patenting activity.
Empowering women with IP knowledge is another WIPO project aimed at promoting gender equality. Since 1998, WIPO has been empowering women through its IP training and capacity-building programmes. Half of the estimated 50,000 students who have registered in such programmes with WIPO are women.
A growing number of member countries send more female delegates to WIPO. These women, albeit in an unofficial role, give leadership and are very successful. Women delegates from developing countries, particularly from India and Argentina, have been essential in forging agreements and pushing the development agenda at WIPO.
WIPO’s main functions include:
• Assisting in the development of campaigns to improve IP protection around the world and to harmonise national legislation in this field
• Signing international agreements on IP protection
• Using the administrative functions of the Paris and Berne Unions
• Rendering technical and legal assistance in the field of IP
• collecting and disseminating information, conducting research and publishing the results
• ensuring the protection of intellectual property
WIPO’s most essential duty is to administer multilateral international agreements, which includes depositing treaties, state instruments of conflict settlement, ensuring treaty review, and so on.
WIPO’s Strategic Objectives
WIPO’s nine strategic goals were adopted by our member nations in December 2008 as the first part of the Organization’s comprehensive strategic realignment process. They highlight WIPOs and intellectual property (developing)’s challenges in today’s quickly changing environment:
• Balanced Evolution of the International Normative Framework for IP
• Provision of Premier Global IP Services • Facilitating the Use of IP for Development
• Coordination and Development of Global IP Infrastructure
• World Reference Source for IP Information and Analysis
• International Cooperation on Building Respect for IP
•A Reliable Administrative and Financial Support Structure to Enable WIPO to Carry Out Its Programs
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