World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
WIPO is an intergovernmental organisation and has enjoyed the status of a specialised agency in the United Nations system since 1974. Its headquarters is in Geneva. It was established by the "Treaty instituting the World Intellectual Property Organisation", signed on 14 July 1967 at Stockholm, which came into force in 1970. Switzerland signed the Treaty in 1970. WIPO’s purpose is to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through co-operation among states in collaboration with any other international organisations and to ensure administrative co-operation between the intellectual property associations.
The Treaty provides for three management bodies: the General Assembly, the Conference and the Co-ordination Committee. The Head of the Secretariat (also termed the International Bureau) is elected by the General Assembly.
Intellectual property is divided into two major fields: authors' rights and industrial property. Authors' rights concern mainly litterary, musical, artistic, photographic and audio-visual works. Industrial property consists mostly of inventions, trade marks, industrials drawings and models, and designations of origin.
Considering the developments in the information society and in e-commerce, WIPO will be increasingly involved in solving problems related to intellectual property and to aspects of brand names and domain names. We note in this context that the national domain names in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein are managed and allocated by the SWITCH Foundation in Zurich.
OFCOM and WIPO
The Federal Institute of Intellectual Property is the responsible body for representing Switzerland within WIPO.
OFCOM especially follows the work of WIPO that is related to its activities, i.e. the aspects concerning authors' rights (medias) and domain names (Internet Protocol).