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World Intellectual Property Organisation

The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the United Nations' sixteen specialised agencies. WIPO currently has 191 member states and is responsible for the promotion of intellectual property rights protection throughout the world.

Its primary activities include the progressive development of nuance in the field of intellectual property, the administration of certain treaties for global intellectual property protection, and intellectual property development cooperation.

What are the objectives of WIPO?

The primary objectives of WIPO's cooperation with nations in the field of industrial property are as follows:

- To promote and increase the creation of patentable inventions by nationals of developing countries, thereby increasing their technological self-sufficiency and competitiveness in international markets.

- To facilitate their acquisition of foreign patents and technology

- To improve their competitiveness in international trade by strengthening their trademark and service mark protection and maximising their use of trademarks and service marks.

- To make technological information contained in patent documents more accessible to developing countries.

Assistance Under TRIPS

WIPO can assist developing countries in carrying out their TRIPS Agreement obligations:

  • WIPO provides legislative guidance to developing countries as they draught intellectual property legislation.

  • Raising awareness and developing human resources. Establishment of institutions and modernization of IP systems, including the provision of custom-developed software. Publication of studies on the TRIPS Agreement's impact on developing countries.

  • The aforementioned legal technical assistance is provided as part of WIPO's WTO Cooperation Agreement activities.

All UN member states have the option, but not the obligation, to join specialised agencies such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) currently has 191 member states.

The Cook Islands, the Holy See, and Niue are among the 188 UN member states that make up WIPO.

  • Palestine has been designated as an observer state indefinitely.

  • As official observers, around 250 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) attend WIPO meetings.

In 1975, India joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Copyright laws allow for certain limitations on economic rights in order to strike a reasonable balance between the interests of rightsholders and users of protected works.

  • These are instances in which protected works may be used without the right holder's permission and with or without compensation.

  • The debate has centred on three groups of beneficiaries or activities in relation to exceptions and limitations: educational activities, libraries and archives, and disabled individuals, particularly visually impaired individuals.

  • Limitations and exceptions are a topic on the WIPO's agenda.

TRIPS Agreement

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement between member countries.

  • The TRIPS Agreement aims to harmonise intellectual property (IP) laws and regulations around the world. The TRIPS Agreement achieves this goal by establishing minimum standards for the protection of various types of intellectual property.

  • Signatories to the TRIPS Agreement are required to incorporate these minimum standards into their national IP laws.

  • The TRIPS Agreement establishes minimum standards for granting rights to IP owners, enforcing those rights through national laws, and resolving disputes and providing remedies to those whose IP rights are infringed.

The TRIPS Agreement covers a wide range of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, industrial designs, and so on.

The Uruguay Round was the most recent GATT round (1986-1994). For the first time, the Uruguay Round included discussions on trade in agriculture, services, and intellectual property rights.


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