The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations. WIPO is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States, and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.


Intellectual property comprises two main branches:


A substantial part of the activities and the resources of WIPO is devoted to development cooperation with developing countries. The number of States members of WIPO was 161 on February 20, 1997 (updated list available). In addition, six States were party to treaties administered by WIPO but had not yet become members of WIPO.