The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) provides protection for new inventions and maintains a register of nearly 3 million national trademarks. As of 21 April 1994, there are 147 member states of WIPO. Through administration of various treaties it also protects the work of artists, composers and authors worldwide. WIPO also carries out a programme of activities in the field of intellectual property to promote creative intellectual activity, protection of intellectual property, international cooperation and the transfer of technology, especially to and among developing countries. Cooperation with developing countries in their efforts for intellectual property is one of WIPO's main tasks. Other activities include the revision of treaties, the revision of classifications, and observing all changes in international industrial, trade and cultural relations in the field of intellectual property. WIPO's work makes it easier and less costly for individuals and enterprises to enforce their property rights. It also broadens the opportunity to distribute new ideas and products without relinquishing control over the property rights. In the case of UNESCO, efforts focus on the adoption and observance of legislation relating to copyright.
The [Agreement on Trade Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights] (TRIPS) was part of the package of WTO Agreements agreed to in 1994. It came into effect in 1 January 1995, although developing countries and WTO members in transition were given a transition period of 5 years before implementation in 1 January 2000. The predominant motivation for TRIPS was to protect the research and development (R & D) activities of leading technology industries against imitation and counterfeit products. It provides intellectual property protection to holders of copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, layout-designs of integrated circuits and undisclosed information (trade secrets and test data). Enforcement mechanisms to afford this protection are required to be operative in each of the WTO members.
Treaties providing for the substantive protection of industrial property include the: [Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property] (1883); [Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods] (1991); [Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol] (1981). Treaties facilitating the acquisition of industrial property protection in several countries include: in the field of patents - [Patent Cooperation Treaty] (1970), [Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure] (1977); in the field of trademarks - [Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks] (1991), and the [Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks] (1989); in the field of appellations of origin - [Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration] (1958); in the field of industrial designs - [Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs] (1925).
Treaties establishing international classifications include the: [Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification] (1971); [Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purpose of the Registration of Marks] (1957); [Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs] (1968); [Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks] (1973). Treaties providing for the protection of literary and artistic property include the: treaty providing for the protection of copyright - [Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works] (1886); treaties providing for the protection of neighbouring rights - [Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations] (1961), the [Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms], and the [Brussels Convention Relating to the Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite] (1974).
Among the most important treaties are the [Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property] (1983), and the [Berne Convention for the Protection of Copyright] (1886). The [Berne Convention] has been revised six times, amended in 1979, and as of March 6, 1994, 105 States are party to it. The [Paris Convention] has been revised six times, amended in 1979, and as of February 19, 1994, 120 States are party to it.