IIPI was founded in 1998 to assist policy makers and creators in all parts of the world in better understanding the use of intellectual property rights as a tool of economic growth and development.
Twenty years of History
The decade of the 1990s was a period of global harmonization of national patent, trademark and copyright laws. The TRIPS Agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) was a key part of the final Uruguay Round of trade negotiations which resulted in the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994. In 1996, member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed on two new copyright treaties for the Internet age: the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Phonograms Treaty. The TRIPS Agreement and the two WIPO treaties required most developing countries to modernize their intellectual property laws to meet new, harmonized and higher standards of protection of intellectual property rights just as global trade in technology and information content was exploding.
What We Do
For most of the last two decades, IIPI’s focus has been on providing assistance to developing countries so that they may most effectively use these internationally harmonized legal tools for their own benefit. Our programs provided training in matters such as the commercialization of publicly funded research, protecting and maximizing the benefits of traditional culture, and state of the art mechanisms for judicial resolution of IP related disputes. IIPI personnel were key participants in the creation and design of the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries.
IIPI has conducted scores of training and education programs, policy studies and “how to” guides. IIPI programs took place on five continents in more than 30 countries. For the most part, these activities relied on a roster of internationally recognized experts who offered their services through IIPI. A description of these programs and IIPI’s studies and publications can be found in the archive accessible on this website.
IIPI’s original goals largely have been met. Most nations of the world now have modern intellectual property rights laws, and creators in those nations are active participants in global trade in the products of the mind. IIPI has now turned its attention to providing continuing education, largely utilizing the Internet, to those in both developed and developing countries who seek to understand and participate in the evolving, global intellectual property system of the 21st Century.