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Frits E. Bontekoe and Max Wallot

The relationship between the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Union (EU) has different facets. It is characterized by a growing EU presence within the various bodies of WIPO in which the EU assumes more and more responsibilities, for instance as regards officer positions. In most of WIPO’s subsidiary bodies the EU participates in an observer capacity but it also holds membership status in some Unions, committees and working groups. Furthermore, the EU is now a party to several international intellectual property treaties administered by WIPO. In this regard, the question of EU competence to conclude international agreements is of pivotal importance and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union shows a trend towards a consolidating EU competence in this domain.