World Intellectual Property Organisation

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is a United Nations agency headquartered in Geneva. It was founded in 1967 and has 185 members. Its stated mission is “to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through a balanced and effective international intellectual property system.” WIPO provides technical assistance on national IP laws and institutions. Since 2007, WIPO has a Development Agenda. While some change has been acknowledged, WIPO has been criticised for not being accountable or transparent enough in it activities.

The Director General of WIPO is the Secretary-General of UPOV. WIPO provides administrative and practical services to UPOV. Though UPOV is a separate legal entity, its ties with WIPO are close.

Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore  (ICG)

Of particular relevance to plant variety protection and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture is the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC). Established by the WIPO General Assembly in October 2000 the IGC is now undertaking negotiations with the objective of reaching agreement on a text of an international legal instrument (or instruments) which will ensure the effective protection of traditional knowledge (TK) and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs)/folklore. The IGC also discusses mandatory disclosure of origin of genetic resources in patent law.

Further reading