Jane Lambert
27 May 2010

There are three sets of institutions that affect intellectual property:

  • Intellectual Property Offices: the national or regional offices that examine applications for patents for inventions, trade marks, designs and other intellectual property rights known in some countries as “patent offices” and in others as “intellectual property offices”;
  • Courts: tribunals that resolve disputes between intellectual property offices and applicants for patents or other intellectual property rights or between owners of such rights and persons they believe to have infringed those rights; and
  • International Organizations: the World Trade Organization which requires member states to protect the intellectual assets of their own and other members’ nationals and the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) the UN agency responsible for intellectual property.