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U.S. ECONOMY > International Trade > Global Trade Agreements > World Intellectual Property Organization

What is WIPO?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.

WIPO was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 with a mandate from its Member States to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

wipo imageSee a brief history of WIPO. 

Strategic Direction and Activities

WIPO’s vision is that IP is an important tool for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries. This shapes its mission to promote the effective use and protection of IP worldwide. Strategic goals are set out in a four yearly Medium Term Plan and refined in the biennial Program and Budget document.

The five strategic goals defined in the 2006 – 2007 Program and Budget are:

  • To promote an IP culture;
  • To integrate IP into national development policies and programs;
  • To develop international IP laws and standards;
  • To deliver quality services in global IP protection systems; and
  • To increase the efficiency of WIPO’s management and support processes.

WIPO’s core tasks and program activities are all aimed at achieving these goals.


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