The WTO stands for World Trade Organization and is an organisation consisting of several member states. The WTO endeavours to regulate and promote trade amongst member states including also intellectual property through the TRIPS agreement.
The Doha Development Agenda was launched in 2001 to ensure equitable trade from the poorer member states and forms part of the work done by the World Trade Organization.
There are some 153 member states participating in the endeavours of the WTO. There are about 30 observing states.
The organization is managed by a ministerial conference, a general council and the director general. The organization headquarters is located in Switzerland.
The main functions of the World Trade Organization are that of:
- Overseeing the implementation and operation of the various agreements.
- Creating a workable space for negotiation.
- Handling of disputes amongst member states.
- Reviewing of national trade policies.
- Development of transparency amongst member trade policies.
- Monitoring of economic policies.
- Assisting the developing and lower income member states to adapt to the organization rules.
- Providing a centre for research and assessments of the world trade scenario.
- Publication of research reports.
- Cooperation with the IMF and World Bank.
- Overseeing agreements.
Currently the World Trade Organization oversees some sixty treaties and agreements of international stature. The participating countries must sign the agreements and then discussions follow.
Agreements range from the Agreement on Agriculture to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to agreements such as TRIPS that govern intellectual property, as well as the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, and the Agreement on Customs Valuation.
Regarding the intellectual property regulations, the TRIPS agreement is perhaps the most important international treaty. Known in full as the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the agreement governs all aspects of intellectual property amongst the member states.
Contact us if you want to register intellectual property in one of the member states of the WTO.