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Globally, 1.4 million patents were granted in 2017. China’s patent authority led the world in the number of patents granted with 420,144 and was followed by the US with 318,829, according to the WIPO.

Highlights of the report- India related key facts:

The number of patents granted by India shot up by 50% in 2017, keeping up a trend of steep increases. The patents granted by India increased from 8,248 in 2016 to 12,387 last year.

Of the patents granted last year, 1,712 went to entities and individuals based in India, and 10,675 to foreigners.

While India ranked 10th in the number of patents given last year, no Indian company or university figures in last year’s global list of the top 50 patent applicants.

About WIPO:

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations.
  • It was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.”
  • It has currently 188 member states, administers 26 international treaties, and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Non-members are the states of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. Palestine has observer status.
  • India is a member of WIPO and party to several treaties administered by WIPO.

Genesis of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

The origins of WIPO is  traced back to 1883 during Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, when 14 countries signed Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Hence, from that convention the  intellectual-property protections for inventions, trademarks, and industrial designs was created.

WIPO was formally created by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, which entered into force on April 26, 1970. Under this Convention, WIPO seeks to “promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” It became a specialized agency of the UN in 1974.

Purposes of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

To promote the protection of intellectual property on the globe the world through cooperation among states, and collaboration with any other international organization.

To ensure administrative cooperation among the unions.

Governing Bodies of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

It has four organs which are discussed below:

General Assembly: It consists of all states party to the WIPO Convention that are also members of any of the unions. It meets every two years and has the highest authority of all the organs.

Conference:  It consists of all states party to the WIPO Convention, whether or not they are members of one or more of the unions. It meets every two years to discuss matters of general interest in the field of intellectual property, as well as to establish WIPO’s program of technical legal assistance and the budget for that program.

Coordination Committee: It consisting of the States party to this Convention which are members of the Executive Committee of the Paris Union, or the Executive Committee of the Berne Union, or both. However, if either of these Executive Committees is composed of more than one-fourth of the number of the countries members of the Assembly which elected it, then such Executive Committee shall designate from among its members the States which will be members of the Coordination Committee, in such a way that their number shall not exceed the one-fourth referred to above, it being understood that the country on the territory of which the Organization has its headquarters shall not be included in the computation of the said one-fourth.

Contributions of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

The WIPO has played a vital role in helping countries set up effective intellectual property regimes in all three areas patents, copyrights, and trademarks. As countries undertake the transition from state-run economies to market-driven ones, they see the necessity of a well-functioning intellectual property infrastructure. Hence, these countries see the advantages of joining the World Trade Organization; they seek the assistance of the WIPO in bringing their intellectual property regimes up to the required standards.

PATENTS: The WIPO’s most recent endeavours in the patent area centre on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), which was negotiated in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Although that agreement was negotiated outside of the framework of the WIPO, the officials involved expected at the outset that the WIPO given its institutional strength and special expertise would play a major role in its implementation. And indeed that has turned out to be the case. Through a specific memorandum of understanding between the WIPO and the World Trade Organization (the successor to GATT), the WIPO is undertaking a host of activities in support of the agreements reached on TRIPs.

COPYRIGHTS: The WIPO administers several major treaties dealing with international protection of trademarks, including the Paris Convention, already mentioned, which assures the right of national treatment in trademark registrations, as well as protecting well-known marks from pirating worldwide.

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