WIPO provides extensive legislative assistance to developing countries in the context of its technical cooperation for economic development.
In 1995, the WIPO Secretariat received a mandate from the WIPO General Assembly to assist both its own Member States and WTO Members in implementing their obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement). Such assistance is provided upon request, on a bilateral and confidential basis.
Between 1995 and 2000, when the Member States of WIPO and of WTO were mainly concerned with the timely implementation of their TRIPS obligations, WIPOs advice focused on ensuring that national legislation would be in compliance with those obligations.
Since 2000, and in particular since the beginning of the debate in the WTO TRIPS Council on access to drugs, WIPO Member States have increasingly sought assistance and advice in exploiting the flexibility under international treaties in implementing their obligations.