The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system that rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.
It was established following the conclusion of the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization in Stockholm in 1967. Its mandate is to promote the protection of IP through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organisations. The WIPO Convention entered into force on 26 April1970. The Organization became a UN specialised agency in 1974.
WIPO administers 24 treaties that deal with different legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property, notably the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (173 contracting parties as of June 2011), the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (164 contractiog parties) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (143 contractiog parties).
The General Assembly is the Organization's supreme decision-making body and has 176 members. The Conference has 184 members.
The Paris and Berne Unions elect executive committees from among their members. The joint membership of these two committees constitutes the WIPO Coordination Committee, which has 83 members. The WIPO Secretariat had 942 regular staff as at 30 April 2011.
Member States of WIPO and the Unions established by the different WIPO Treaties meet in an ordinary session of the General Assembly once every two years and in extraordinary session every other year. Meetings are traditionally held in the northern hemisphere autumn for approximately 10 days. The 2011 Assemblies were held from 26 September to 5 October.
All WIPO Member States, whether or not they are members of any of the Unions, are also entitled to participate in the WIPO Conference, which meets at the same time as the General Assembly. The Coordination Committee meets in ordinary session once a year.