The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations, created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world." WIPO currently has 188 member states, administers 26 international treaties, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to WIPO, it “helps governments, businesses and society realize the benefits of IP” by providing:
- A policy forum to shape balanced international IP rules for a changing world;
- Global services to protect IP across borders and to resolve disputes;
- Technical infrastructure to connect IP systems and share knowledge;
- Cooperation and capacity-building programs to enable all countries to use IP for economic, social and cultural development; and
- A world reference source for IP information.