WIPO and the Public-Private Web of Global Intellectual Property Governance
Christoph Hermann & Jörg Philipp Terhechte (Eds), European Yearbook of International Economic Law 2013 (Springer),
27 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013 Last revised: 25 Dec 2013
Date Written: January 16, 2013
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has always been recognized as 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 chapter introduces, discusses and evaluates the mission, role and activities of WIPO as 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 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 over 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.
Keywords: WIPO, Intellectual Property Law, Global Governance, IP Governance, International Economic Institutions
JEL Classification: K19, K30, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation