WIPO and the Public-Private Web of Global Intellectual Property Governance
Title: WIPO and the Public-Private Web of Global Intellectual Property Governance
Author: WECHSLER, Andrea
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2012/32
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has always been recognized as an important international economic institution for the global governance of intellectual property (IP) law. Moreover, its role in promoting, facilitating and supporting national, regional and local governance of IP law worldwide has long been uncontested. However, ever since the late 1980s, fundamental transformations in the IP landscape have challenged the established position of WIPO in global IP governance. First, increasing perceptions of the interconnectedness of IP issues with larger global development issues have required substantial adaptations in WIPO’s policy formulations. Second, fragmentation and horizontal forum-shifting of IP issues from WIPO to both complementary and competing international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), have challenged the uncontested role of WIPO in global IP governance. Likewise, vertical forum-shifting from multilateral to bilateral law-making has necessitated strategic adaptations on the part of WIPO. And third, the rise of private regulation in IP law as well as new soft law regulatory approaches have pressurized WIPO into redefining its own position towards public actors, private actors and civil society. In the light of these transformations, the following paper introduces, discusses and evaluates the mission, role and activities of WIPO as an international economic institution for the global governance of intellectual property. It discusses, first, the larger public-private web of global IP governance in which WIPO operates. It then introduces in detail WIPO as an international economic institution for IP governance. This introduction is followed by a discussion of WIPO’s mission and strategic goals as well as an overview of its core activities. The final conclusions evaluate WIPO’s current positioning and provide recommendations for WIPO’s further establishment in the public-private web of global IP governance.
Subject: World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); international economic law; intellectual property law; public-private governance; WIPO Development Agenda
Type of Access: openAccess