World Intellectual Property Organization

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World Intellectual Property Organization

(WIPO), specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Geneva. WIPO became an agency in 1974, but its roots go back to 1883 when the need for international protection of intellectual property prompted the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and to 1886 with the Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Both conventions created international bureaus, which merged (1893) to become the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI). In 1960, BIRPI moved from Bern to Geneva and a decade later it became WIPO. Today's organization administers intellectual property matters recognized by United Nations member states, managing international treaties that deal with some aspect of intellectual property protection. WIPO also assists governments, organizations, and the private sector in monitoring developments in the field. It not only helps to protect such traditional works of the mind as patented inventions, books, music, works of art, films, industrial designs, and trademarks, but is increasingly involved in the protection of information technology and World Wide WebWorld Wide Web
(WWW or W3), collection of globally distributed text and multimedia documents and files and other network services linked in such a way as to create an immense electronic library from which information can be retrieved quickly by intuitive searches.
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–related matters. WIPO has 184 member nations.

World Intellectual Property Organization

 

(WIPO), an international organization established on the basis of a convention adopted at the diplomatic conference held in Stockholm in 1967 by member governments of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Bern Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and other specialized unions. The Paris and Bern unions are fully autonomous in regard to questions within their competence.

WIPO proclaimed as its purpose the encouragement of human creative activity and assistance in the protection of intellectual property throughout the world, as well as efforts to modernize and increase the effectiveness of the activities of the individual international organizations and unions in the areas of industrial property (Paris Union) and the protection of literary and artistic works (Bern Union). The activities of WIPO extend to all forms of intellectual property and include rights concerning literary, artistic, and scientific works, the protection of performing artists, inventions, scientific discoveries, and industrial designs.

The highest organ of WIPO is the General Assembly, composed of governments that are participants in the convention and members of one of the unions. In addition, conferences may be held of governments participating in the convention, regardless of whether they are members of one of the unions. The Coordinating Committee, consisting of the member governments of the executive committees of the Paris and Bern unions, was also created. The administrative organ of WIPO is the International Bureau in Geneva, Switzerland.

The USSR ratified the convention on the establishment of WIPO on Sept. 19, 1968; as of Jan. 1, 1971, the following countries had also ratified the convention: Bulgaria, the Byelorussian SSR, Canada, Chad, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malawi, Rumania, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukrainian SSR, and the USA. Twenty-nine governments have subscribed to the convention for a five-year period as permitted under article 21(2).

V. P. SHATROV

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Part II briefly describes the terms "development" and "developing countries," and Part III discusses the extent to which the concept of development has permeated discussions and actual norm-making at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), (2) while Part IV presents some final observations.