Cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations 

The law and policy of intellectual property are increasingly intertwined with a wide range of global issues, calling for cooperation and dialogue within the international community. The TRIPS Agreement incorporates by reference substantive provisions of certain pre-existing multilateral conventions on intellectual property.

The Preamble to the TRIPS Agreement calls for “a mutually supportive relationship between the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Organization […] as well as other relevant international organizations”.

The WTO Secretariat therefore cooperates with many intergovernmental and regional organizations on matters of common interest. This cooperation includes participating as an observer in other organizations’ meetings, collaborating on technical assistance, and consulting on other topics upon request.

See also:

  • The WTO and other organizations
  • Observers in the TRIPS Council

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 

The TRIPS Agreement requires members to abide by certain provisions of key conventions administered by WIPO. Cooperation among the two organizations was formalized in the 1995 WIPO-WTO Cooperation Agreement. Learn more about this collaboration here.

World Health Organization (WHO) 

The WTO Secretariat cooperates with the WHO on issues at the crossroads between public health and intellectual property, among other trade-related topics. Learn more about this collaboration here.

Trilateral cooperation (WTO-WIPO-WHO) 

The WTO, WIPO and WHO secretariats cooperate trilaterally on matters that intersect intellectual property, trade and public health, including innovation in health technologies and access to affordable medicine. Learn more about trilateral initiatives here.

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Other organizations 

The WTO Secretariat also cooperates with a range of other intergovernmental organizations and programmes on intellectual property issues, where appropriate. These include:


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Regional organizations 

The WTO Secretariat cooperates with a number of regional organizations active in intellectual property such as the African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO), Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.



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