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Intellectual Property: International Organizations

This Guide to Intellectual Property Resources will guide you to more information both here in the U.S. and worldwide. There are major sections below for the traditional categories of intellectual property: patents, trademarks and copyright.


International Organizations Important to Intellectual Property Law

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - WIPO is the administrative body or secretariat for many international treaties that define intellectual property internationally. Treaties fundamental to international law of intellectual property are found at

WIPO IP Portal link.

Two of the oldest agreements on international intellectual property are the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property(1883) and Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886).

World Trade Organization - The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a global organization that establishes trade rules between nations. The treaties and rules established by the WTO are referred to as the multilateral trading system.

The WTO is the successor organization to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT).

One of the more controversial treaties implemented by the WTO is known as Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS

United Nations Documentation Research Guide - This guide helps to understand the United Nations classification system and find its treaty resources.

United Nations Treaty Collection - This resource is primarily helpful if you already know the name of the treaty you wish to examine or if you are interested in whether treaties have been received by the UN’s Secretariat.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides copyright laws of UNESCO member states here

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plant (UPOV) - UPOV is an international organization established by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. The Convention was adopted in Paris in 1961 and it was revised as recently as 1991. The Convention protects new varieties of plants as a form of intellectual property.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - ICANN is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation responsibile for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.