Working with WIPO

Promoting intellectual property rights in international fora

The European Union promotes the protection of intellectual property rights, which contribute to innovation and economic development worldwide. Building on its internal legislation on intellectual property, the EU is very active in the different normative areas of WIPO.

The EU, in particular supports:

  • Progress in harmonization of substantive patent law and further harmonization of industrial design rights;
  • WIPO's efforts to review the Lisbon system for international registration of appellations of origin, with the objective of making it more attractive to users and potential new members, including intergovernmental organisations such as the EU;
  • In the field of copyright and related rights, progress to achieve appropriate international protection for broadcasters and effective implementation of existing WIPO treaties.

The European Union has a permanent observer status in WIPO and is a special member without the right to vote in five WIPO committees:

  • Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources;
  • Traditional Knowledge and Folklore;
  • Standing Committee on Copyright and related Rights;
  • Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications;
  • Committee on Standards; and the Advisory Committee on Enforcement.

The EU is also a member of the following WIPO-managed Intellectual Property Treaties:

  • The Hague Agreement (concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs);
  • The Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement (concerning the International registration of Marks);
  • The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT);
  • The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

The EU has signed the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in June 2013 and participated as a Special Delegation in the WIPO Diplomatic Conference in Marrakech, which agreed on the international Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled forum for cooperation.

Back to Development, Environment and Economic Affairs