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The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is one of the 16 specialised agencies of the United Nations system of organisations. It administers 23 international treaties dealing with different aspects of intellectual property protection. The Organisation counts 179 nations as member states.
Anyone applying for a patent or registering a trademark or design, whether at the national or international level, is required to determine whether their creation is new or is owned or claimed by someone else. Four WIPO treaties created classification systems which organise information concerning inventions, trademarks, and industrial designs into indexed, manageable structures for easy retrieval. Regularly updated to include changes and advances in technology and commercial practices, the classification systems are used voluntarily by many countries which are not party to the related agreements.
Industrial property statistics