WIPO Observers

WIPO welcomes the inclusion of stakeholder organizations and interest groups as observers at the formal meetings of member states. WIPO also seeks to involve NGOs, IGOs, industry groups and all other stakeholders as widely as possible in consultation processes and debates about current issues.

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Admission criteria and procedures

Observer status at WIPO

Observer status at WIPO is granted by the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO based on requests presented by the Secretariat. Any organization wishing to apply for observer status should submit a request to the WIPO Secretariat via the contact us form.

Each applicant organization should attach a duly signed official letter of request as well as the following supporting documents which vary depending on the nature of each organization:

  • Information on the organization’s structure and objectives,
  • a copy of its constituent instruments,
  • a list of its officers,
  • list of its members,
  • the composition of the governing body of the organization and
  • information on its activities and interests, particularly those related to the protection of intellectual property.
  • The text of its constituent instrument (articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc.);
  • an indication of the date and place where it was established, as well as where it is currently headquartered;
  • a list of its officers (showing their nationality in the case of an international NGO);
  • a complete list, or total number, of its national groups or members (showing their country of origin in the case of an international NGO), indicating whether the members are natural and/or juridical persons;
  • a description of the legal structure, including the composition of the governing body or bodies (showing the geographical distribution in the case of an international NGO);
  • a statement of its objectives;
  • an indication of the field or fields of intellectual property (e.g., copyright and related rights) of interest to it.
  • The organization shall be essentially concerned with intellectual property matters within the competence of WIPO and shall, in the view of the Director General, be able to offer constructive, substantive contributions to the deliberations of the Assemblies of WIPO;
  • The aims and purposes of the organization shall be in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of WIPO and the United Nations;
  • The organization shall have an established headquarters. It shall have democratically adopted statutes, adopted in conformity with the legislation of the Member State from which the NGO originates. One copy of the statutes shall be submitted to WIPO;
  • The organization shall have authority to speak for its members through its authorized representatives and in accordance with the rules governing observer status; and
  • The admission of national NGOs to observer status shall be the subject of prior consultations between Member States and the Secretariat.

The next deadline for submission of requests for observer status is February 16, 2024 5 p.m. Geneva time.

Ad hoc observer status at WIPO

Ad hoc observer status grants access to meetings in WIPO’s subsidiary bodies only, e.g., specific WIPO Committee sessions. The decision to grant ad hoc observer status lies within the competence of the respective WIPO body for which the observer status is requested.

Requests for ad hoc observer status should be submitted to the respective WIPO Committee: