The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

A Reference Guide

Elgar Practical Guides

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Written by a leading WIPO commentator, The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): A Reference Guide is the first comprehensive reference book to illuminate the nuts and bolts of WIPO governance. This practical guide offers a unique insight into how WIPO is governed, described in clear, readily accessible terms for policymakers, scholars and stakeholders. The Guide reviews the origins of WIPO and sets out its current functions and activities, presenting a framework for analysing WIPO’s complex governance system. The text is accompanied by a number of valuable appendices, including key documents that have to date not been readily available to the public.

Chapter 8: External relations and transparency

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


Several components of WIPO’s governance system have a bearing on the organisation’s external relations and transparency. This chapter reviews agreements and practices relevant to WIPO’s relations with the UN system and other international organisations; WIPO’s unique relationship with private sector stakeholders; its guidelines on observers; and policies and practices with regard to transparency and access to documents. The World Intellectual Property Organization’s 1974 Agreement with the UN includes a number of concrete provisions regarding the coordination of WIPO’s policies and activities with the wider UN system, which are implemented to varying degrees by WIPO’s Secretariat and Member States in their respective areas of responsibility (see Appendix 2 for the text of the UN-WIPO Agreement). In formally establishing WIPO’s status as a UN Specialized Agency, Article 1 of the UN-WIPO agreement described the organisation’s purpose as ‘promoting creative intellectual activity and . . . facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to . . . the developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development.’

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