WIPO Background Materials
- What is WIPO ?
- What international rights management services does WIPO provide in other areas of IP?
- What is WIPOCOS ?
- What are the dispute resolution services offered by WIPO?
What is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), established in 1970, is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency and the leading intergovernmental organization dedicated to the promotion and use of intellectual property (IP). The Organization seeks to develop a balanced and effective international IP system that rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, while safeguarding the public interest.
How WIPO Works
WIPO serves as a forum for its Member States to establish and harmonize rules and practices for the protection of IP rights. Many industrialized nations have protection systems that are centuries old. Among newer or developing countries, however, many are in the process of building up their patent, trademark and copyright legal frameworks and IP systems. With the increasing globalization of trade and rapid changes in technological innovation, WIPO plays a key role in helping these new systems to evolve through treaty negotiation, legal and technical assistance, building infrastructure and human capacity, including in the area of enforcement.
WIPO works with its Member States to make available information on IP and outreach tools for a range of audiences – from the grassroots level through to the business sector and policymakers – to ensure its benefits are well recognized and accessible to all.
WIPO Global Registration Systems
WIPO also services global registration systems for trademarks, industrial designs and appellations of origin, and a global filing system for patents. These systems are under regular review by Member States and other stakeholders to determine how they can best serve the needs of users.
How is WIPO Funded?
WIPO is largely a self-financed organization, generating more than 90 percent of its annual budget through its widely used registration and filing systems. The remainder is primarily made up of revenue from WIPO’s arbitration and mediation services, plus contributions from Member States.
For further information please refer to the World Intellectual Property Organization website.
In other words, why is WIPO the forum in which to base international rights management initiatives?
WIPO manages the following systems: the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (Madrid system), the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague system) and the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin (Lisbon system).
WIPOCOS, a software for collective management of copyright and neighboring rights, was developed and is owned and maintained by WIPO. It is offered free of charge, with free support and, in specific cases, free equipment is also provided.
WIPOCOS was developed in close cooperation with a number of international federations representing right owners, and in partnership with individual collective management organizations (CMOs), mainly from Africa. As a result of this collaboration, WIPOCOS is a modular, interoperable system with international standards, formats and tools, including some developed under the CISAC Common Information System (CIS) and SCAPR initiatives. In particular, WIPOCOS integrates some of CISAC’s data modules and SCAPR norms – for example the WID, IPI and IPN – as well as international identifiers such as standard numbers for authors, performers, musical works, sound recordings and audiovisual productions. WIPOCOS applications offer standard business rules for calculating and distributing copyright royalties.
Devised to facilitate the development of CMOs in different regions of the world, WIPOCOS is deployed upon Member State request, in conformity with professional installation requirements and modalities. Since its launch in 2000, WIPOCOS has been successfully implemented in 16 countries. Demand is growing exponentially, and as many as 15 Member States are in the process of having their CMOs implement the software. Many others are in line for future use of WIPOCOS services.
WIPOCOS was designed (first under the project name AFRICOS) to help stakeholders in developing countries to overcome challenges in developing collective management software, which is often time-consuming and requires expensive and complex infrastructures. It is also vital that such IT tools be interoperable with existing systems in different territories.
With that in mind, the objectives of WIPOCOS are to:
- Offer a modern and reliable computerized system capable of performing the main operations of collective management for copyright and related rights;
- Enable developing CMOs to apply the new industry standards, particularly in developing countries;
- Provide CMOs with a digital tool that is simple and customized to their level of development with regard to usability, cost and maintenance while meeting the most demanding international standards in the field of collective management;
- Ensure timely, transparent and autonomous distribution of royalties.
While the main focus of WIPOCOS is currently on managing musical works, it is expected that new software modules will soon apply to other types of works and subject matters for related rights, such as audiovisual works and performances, drama and choreography, literary works and reprography.
WIPO, through its Arbitration and Mediation Center, offers alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options for the resolution of commercial disputes between private parties. This is in the belief that suitable, efficient, effective dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms may contribute to encouraging continuity in intellectual property-based transactions and platforms. The WIPO arbitration, mediation, expert determination and administrative dispute resolution procedures are widely recognized as particularly appropriate for technology, entertainment and related disputes.
WIPO ADR Case Administration Services
The WIPO Center has to date administered over 240 mediation and arbitration cases, and over 20,000 domain name cases under administrative procedures. The WIPO Center’s website provides general information on its caseload including descriptive examples of cases.
Of the cases that are filed with the WIPO Center under the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Rules, about 10% involve the entertainment industry. Examples of WIPO cases in the entertainment area include:
- WIPO Expedited Arbitration Relating to an Artistic Production Finance Agreement (case example A.4),
- WIPO Arbitration of an Artist Promotion Dispute (case example A.10)
The WIPO Center has also administered disputes involving collecting societies. For example, a recent WIPO mediation related to a dispute between a US collecting society and a European entity which acted as the US society’s exclusive agent to obtain levies in the European country. Three years after the conclusion of the contract, which provided in case of dispute for WIPO mediation followed, if unsuccessful, by WIPO arbitration, the US society notified the termination of the contract, alleging that the European entity lacked official accreditation. The European entity initiated WIPO mediation proceedings claiming damages and lost profits for wrongful termination of the contract.
Other recent examples involving collecting societies include a dispute between a European right holders association and a European cable operator over royalty claims, and a dispute that arose between two European collecting societies out of a reciprocity agreement. See also the WIPO Center’s tailored ADR services collecting societies referred below.
Operating on a neutral, international and non-profit basis, the WIPO Center uses a well-established case administration infrastructure, including tools such as procedural rules and model clauses in different languages; a database of over 1,500 qualified international mediators, arbitrators and experts specialized in different intellectual property related fields; management of case related fees; electronic case communication tools, such as the WIPO Electronic Case Facility (WIPO ECAF); and procedural model documents.
WIPO ADR Procedural Guidance and Training
The WIPO Center makes available recommended contract clauses and submission agreements that parties can use to submit their disputes to ADR. Upon request, the WIPO Center also provides procedural guidance to interested parties, including advice on the drafting and adaptation of ADR clauses in contracts and submission agreements, as well as helping to bring disputing parties to ADR. The WIPO Center also organizes training and workshops on mediation, arbitration and related topics.
WIPO Tailored Dispute Resolution Services
Enabled by the flexible nature of ADR, the WIPO Center provides tailored dispute resolution services, targeting the needs of specific business circumstances or industry characteristics. WIPO tailored ADR in the area of collective management includes WIPO dispute resolution services for Association of International Collective Management of Audiovisual Works (AGICOA) and for Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales (EGEDA).
Also, in order to inter alia better address the dispute resolution needs of the entertainment industry, the WIPO Center recently launched the “WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media”, which were developed in collaboration with international experts. TV program format disputes may be submitted to these tailored Rules, further to a collaborative undertaking between the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) and the WIPO Center.
Such WIPO tailored services, which additionally cover areas as varied as Art and Cultural Heritage, Biodiversity and Technology Transfer, allow the concerned business sector considerable efficiency gains by reflecting legal and business standards of the area through processes that best reflect stakeholder interests.
Potential WIPO Dispute Resolution Contribution to IMR
The WIPO Center is available to provide targeted dispute resolution services in the context of IMR and thus contribute to the healthy development of the digital music ecosystem by minimizing dispute-related loss of productivity and social and economic enjoyment of creativity and innovation.