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 9: Conclusion

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Subjects: law - academic, intellectual property law


This Reference Guide has presented a factual overview of WIPO’s complex governance system. The core focus has been on its formal components, such as those found in the WIPO Convention, the organisation’s agreement with the UN and in the various rules, regulations and policies adopted by Member States or the Secretariat. The book has also, however, documented areas where governance practices at WIPO diverge from the formal components of its governance framework or where relevant regulations, rules, policies, guidelines or reports are ambiguous, inconsistent or absent. It has provided numerous examples of where and how informal dimensions of WIPO’s governance system impact how governance of the organisation and its activities actually occur. The book has underscored, for instance, the prominent role of regional groups of Member States as vehicles for consensus-building and consultation. Beyond the more common focus on WIPO’s decision-making structures and procedures, this Reference guide has taken a wider view of WIPO’s governance system, arguing that it also comprises the organisation’s formal rules, regulations, policies and informal practices in respect of Member State representation and interaction with the Secretariat; financial arrangements and the Program and Budget process; audit, evaluation and oversight of the Secretariat, its leadership and staff; and external relations, stakeholder participation and transparency.

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