World Intellectual Property Organization

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Director-General of WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world."[1]

WIPO currently has 184 member states,[2] administers 24 international treaties,[3] and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry, who took office on October 1, 2008.[4] 183 of the UN Members as well as the Holy See are Members of WIPO. Non-members are the states of Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the states with limited recognition. Palestine has observer status.[5]



The predecessor to WIPO was the BIRPI (Bureaux Internationaux Réunis pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle, French acronym for United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property), which had been established in 1893 to administer the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

WIPO was formally created by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, which entered into force on April 26, 1970. Under Article 3 of this Convention, WIPO seeks to "promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world." WIPO became a specialized agency of the UN in 1974. The Agreement between the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Organization [6] notes in Article 2 that WIPO is responsible

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