World Intellectual Property Organization

Inside WIPO

What is WIPO?

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states.

Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

Lobby of WIPO's New Building
Visit WIPO in Geneva (Photo: WIPO) [Map]

Quick facts

History: established in 1967 | Membership: 188 member states | Director General: Francis Gurry | Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Who we are

Member states

Our 188 member states approve WIPO's strategic direction and activities in the annual meetings of the Assemblies.

Management & staff

Our staff (- the Secretariat), guided by our core values, provide the skills to implement the member states' decisions and deliver WIPO's diverse programs.

Observers

Some 250 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) have official observer status at WIPO meetings.

What we do

We help governments, businesses and society realize the benefits of IP.

We provide:

  • 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;
  • a world reference source for IP information

Activities

Each WIPO division, led by its Director, is responsible for specific programs to achieve our nine strategic goals and objectives:

  • WIPO activities by unit
  • The Year in Review: Report of the DG to the WIPO Assemblies 2013 PDF, WIPO: The Year (2013) in Review

WIPO - Making IP Work

A quick introduction to WIPO and what we do.

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Accountability

Results, program and budget

The objectives, performance measures and budgetary planning for all WIPO's proposed activities are set out in our Program and Budget. We report to member states on the results each year in the Program Performance Report.

Financial reporting

We submit two-yearly financial management reports and annual financial statements to the Assemblies of the Member States, prepared in accordance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Oversight

Our operations and activities are overseen and evaluated by external and internal bodies:

Working with WIPO

WIPO careers

We employ talented individuals from around the globe to help us meet our challenges.

Procurement

We procure goods and services from suppliers worldwide. We focus on achieving the best value for money through a transparent procurement process.

Cooperation

We work in close partnership with IP offices, IGOs, NGOs, and other public and private stakeholder throughout the world to deliver our programs.

Connecting with WIPO

Contact us

World Intellectual Property Organization
34, chemin des Colombettes
CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland

Visit us

Request a group visit for professionals, students and others interested in learning more about WIPO.  Or view public exhibitions now showing at WIPO.

External offices

Our external offices support the delivery of our strategic goals and objectives in the host countries and surrounding regions: 

Explore WIPO