The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the UN. As of January 2000, it had 173 member states. WIPO is responsible for the promotion of protection of intellectual property rights throughout the world. Its principal activities are the progressive development of nuance in field of intellectual property, the administration of certain treaties for global protection of intellectual property, and development cooperation with respect to intellectual property.
In the field of industrial property, the main objectives of WIPO’s cooperation with developing countries are:
• To encourage and increase the creation of patentable inventions by developing countries nationals and thereby to enhance their technological self-reliance and their competitiveness in international markets.
• To improve the conditions for their acquisition of foreign patents and technology.
• To increase their competitiveness in international trade through better protection and more effective use of trademarks and service marks.
• To facilitate a developing country’s access to technological information contained in patent documents.
WIPO can assist developing countries with the implementation of their obligations under the TRIPs Agreement. This assistance includes:
• Advising; at their request, WIPO provides legislative advice to developing countries when they are drafting laws on intellectual property;
• Awareness raising and human resources development;
• Institution building and modernization of intellectual property systems, including the provision of specially developed software;
• Publishing studies on the implications of TRIPs Agreement on developing countries.
The provision of legal technical assistance to developing countries, related to TRIPs implementation, is one of the activities under a WIPO-WTO cooperation agreement.