THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION
In WIPO’s 2006-2007 program and budget, five strategic goals are listed:
* To promote an IP culture;
* To integrate IP into national development policies and programs;
* To develop international IP laws and standards;
* To deliver quality services in global IP protection systems; and
* To increase the efficiency of WIPO’s management and support processes.20
Each of these goals is accompanied by several programs deemed integral to accomplishing the goals, adding up to 31 independent programs proposed for the 06/07 year.21
WIPO’s first goal, to promote an IP culture, relies heavily upon developing an educational agenda. WIPO understands that policing the world is not sufficient – one must win the hearts and minds of the people through education. Only through education can the people of the world understand the benefits of intellectual property regimes. Thus, WIPO seeks to educate the world about the benefits of intellectual property because once people believe in the idea of intellectual property, they will help make the world safe for it. To achieve this goal, WIPO hosts workshops, forums, training classes, and even its own summer university program to communicate the value of intellectual property protection to the world at large.
Education is also central because WIPO does not claim, nor want to be, the world police for IPRs. There is the understanding that WIPO will make the world safer for creative work by building the infrastructure necessary to protect intellectual property and developing rules and regulations for ensuring that “piracy” does not occur. Furthermore, there is the explicit argument made by WIPO that protecting IPRs is essential for future economic development. This line of reasoning is described in their pamphlet, What is Intellectual Property? In this short pamphlet, WIPO first describes what intellectual property is and then argues that it should be promoted and protected because “the promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life.”22 One might note the irony in having to educate people about the centrality of a concept which is evidently so crucial to economic development.
According to this goal, establishing ground rules in the form of legal protections and administrative offices for IPR protection should help economic development and foster innovation. It seems legitimate to link economic improvement to WIPO membership given the claims WIPO makes regarding the necessity of IPRs for innovation. If, given membership in WIPO, economic conditions have not improved, is it possible to claim that WIPO has contributed to development? If economic conditions have not improved since membership in WIPO then one must ask if WIPO made any impact at all – or if, perhaps, their goals are insufficient to produce the type of economic development they claim.
In the next section of the paper I’d like to introduce a case study in order to test the development goals of WIPO against one of the original countries to sign on to the agreement. If WIPO is correct, and adherence to intellectual property laws is a necessary condition for development, then one should find that development has been improved by membership in WIPO. If development has not improved, then one must question the role of an organization like WIPO and suggest that they reconsider their assessment techniques. For the most part, WIPO’s assessment of itself focuses on the number of trainings held, the number of people who have heard the intellectual property message, and the number of countries who are revising their laws to meet the standards associated with WIPO. However, WIPO does not investigate what these new laws and educational paradigms actually facilitate on the ground. While only one country, Chad makes an interesting case study and will be the focus of the next section.