WIPO: Promoting and Protecting your Intellectual Property

Promoting and Protecting your Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organization, or better known as WIPO, is an agency of the United Nations. The agency was created in 1967 and its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its function is to promote and protect the use of intellectual property (IP), as well as stimulate creativity for countries in the areas of cultural, social and economic development. The agency has 186 member states and administers 25 international treaties.

Intellectual property, or best known as IP, is the inventions, written works, artistic works, names, logos, and designs used in commerce. There are two divisions of IP. The first is industrial property, which is summed up as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source. The second is copyright, which covers written works, artistic works, musical works, or all things that performing artists develop.

WIPO works with IP offices throughout the world to provide the most up to date IP statistics. The agency releases reports on the statistics of worldwide IP activity and on the use of administered treaties, which protect IP rights internationally. These reports play significance in understanding business and technology trends around the world.

As well as providing these reports, the agency provides many search options that will provide data and statistics. Some of these are as follows and can be searched at http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en:

  • Statistics Data Center:  The information provided by this search is meant for IP professionals, policymakers, and researchers all over the world. The searches will return statistical data in the areas of patent, trademark, industrial design, and utility model. Users can search by indicator type, report type, or year range.
  • Statistical Country Profiles:  The search is selected by country; a list is provided to choose from. The information returned will provide data on patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs. Detailed information on filings is also provided, including incoming and outgoing filings, the number of filings in certain technological fields, and the use of International IP systems. Information returned is very easy to understand as it is provided in pie charts and graphs, as well as text.
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System:  The information found here will provide statistics on international patent applications only. The statistics are broken down monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The statistics can be found as far back as 1985.

WIPO promotes the use of the International IP system through services, which run systems making it easy to obtain international protection on trademarks, patents, and designs; through law by developing the legal framework which keeps up with the ever-changing needs of an international society; with an infrastructure providing networks and platforms that share knowledge and free databases; and supports the development of the use of IP.

There is also a free public resource title WIPO GOLD that provides users with all searchable IP data under one umbrella. A user can search by technology, brands, domain name, statistics, designs, laws and treaties, classifications, and WIPO standards. This one-stop site can be found at: http://www.wipo.int/wipogold/en/.


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