The SCT was created in 1998 to serve as a forum to discuss issues, facilitate coordination and provide guidance on the progressive development of international law on trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications, including the harmonization of national laws and procedures.
Participation in the SCT is open to all member states of WIPO or the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property as members. A special rule of procedure extends membership without the right to vote to the European Union. In addition, member states of the United Nations that are not members of WIPO or the Paris Union, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations accredited with observer status at WIPO may participate in the Committee in an observer capacity.
WIPO-administered treaties relevant to the work of the SCT include: