World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation.  

A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 189 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

See below for the latest WIPO Jobs and career opportunities:

What is WIPO?

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 189 member states.

Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.


Who we are

Member states

Our 189 member states approve WIPO’s strategic direction and activities in the annual meetings of the Assemblies.

Management & staff

Our staff (- the Secretariat), guided by our core values, provide the skills to implement the member states’ decisions and deliver WIPO’s diverse programs.


Some 250 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) have official observer status at WIPO meetings.

What we do

We help governments, businesses and society realize the benefits of IP.

We provide:

  • a policy forum to shape balanced international IP rules for a changing world;
  • global services to protect IP across borders and to resolve disputes;
  • technical infrastructure to connect IP systems and share knowledge;
  • cooperation and capacity-building programs to enable all countries to use IP for economic, social and cultural development;
  • a world reference source for IP information


Results, program and budget

The objectives, performance measures and budgetary planning for all WIPO’s proposed activities are set out in our Program and Budget. We report to member states on the results each year in the Program Performance Report.

Financial reporting

We submit two-yearly financial management reports and annual financial statements to the Assemblies of the Member States, prepared in accordance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).


Our operations and activities are overseen and evaluated by external and internal bodies:

WIPO Develops Cutting-Edge Translation Tool For Patent Documents

Note to Editors:

The PATENTSCOPE database provides access to international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices. The information may be searched by entering keywords, names of applicants, international patent classification and many other search criteria in multiple languages. The database contains some 58 million records.

Geneva, October 31, 2016 PR/2016/799

The World Intellectual Property Organization has developed a ground-breaking new “artificial intelligence”-based translation tool for patent documents, handing innovators around the world the highest-quality service yet available for accessing information on new technologies.

  • Video: DG Gurry on WIPO Translate

WIPO Translate now incorporates cutting-edge neural machine translation technology to render highly technical patent documents into a second language in a style and syntax that more closely mirrors common usage, out-performing other translation tools built on previous technologies.

WIPO has initially “trained” the new technology to translate Chinese, Japanese and Korean patent documents into English. Patent applications in those languages accounted for some 55% of worldwide filings in 20141. Users can already try out the Chinese-English translation facility on the public beta test platform.

“One of the aims of the patent system is to make technology available.  Language is a barrier to the universal achievement of that aim.  This breakthrough for WIPO Translate means that a vast, and ever-increasing, trove of patent documents will soon be more easily accessible to innovators who search these records for inspiration or technical know-how,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “As part of a global trend, patent applications are increasingly being filed in East Asian languages, particularly in Chinese, and WIPO Translate helps ensure that state-of-the-art knowledge created in these languages is shared as widely and rapidly as possible.”

Highly accurate

The high level of accuracy of the Chinese-English translation is the result of the training of the neural machine translation tool, which compared 60 million sentences from Chinese patent documents provided to WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China with their  translations as filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

WIPO plans to extend the neural machine translation service to French-language patent applications, with other languages to follow. The PATENTSCOPE database integrates with other translation engines freely available on the internet and continues to use existing statistical-based translation technology for languages where it performs well.  WIPO has shared its translation software with other international organizations, including the United Nations conference management service, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Telecommunication Union, International Maritime Organization, World Trade Organization, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “At the United Nations, we are following with great interest the new developments on neural machine translation at WIPO, our partners in this innovative area,” said Cecilia Elizalde, Director of the UN Documentation Division. “Our translation system is integrated with the statistical version of WIPO Translate and translators find it very useful. We look forward to upgrading it to the neural version in the next months.”

Emerging technology

Neural machine translation is an emerging technology. It is based on huge neural network models that “learn” from previously translated sentences. The specificity of neural machine translation (compared to previous “phrase based” statistical methods) is that it produces more natural word order, with particular improvements seen in so-called distant language pairs, like Japanese-English or Chinese-English.

In a recent test, WIPO Translate’s neural-based machine translation service substantially out-performed both the previous statistical-based model on distant language pairs, as well as other non-WIPO translation services. Since this WIPO tool is trained and focused uniquely on patent documents, instead of a more-disparate array of texts, it gives higher-quality renderings.

WIPO created its own software, based on open-source software and libraries (Nematus – Theano, AmuNMT), and capitalized on in-house expertise in handling large datasets.


1Based on most recently available data.

WIPO Careers

Pursuing a career at WIPO means being part of a unique United Nations agency dedicated to making intellectual property work for innovation and creativity.

Our staff work in multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams in a stimulating international setting. We work with governments, intellectual property (IP) practitioners, civil society and the private sector to administer global IP services, develop international law and standards, set up collaborative networks, and build capacity in the use of IP for development. The majority of staff positions are based at our Geneva headquarters.

Contract types

There are two types of contract for staff positions:

  • Fixed-term: Usually granted for an initial period of one-two years, and may be extended further subject to business needs and individual performance.
  • Temporary: Granted for a period of up to one year, and may be extended to a cumulative length of two years.

Categories of staff position

Regardless of contract type, staff roles fall into three categories: Directors (D), Professional (P) staff and General Service (G) staff, each with their own grading structure.

Professional staff and Directors

Professional staff and directors are recruited internationally for roles which require a high level of professional knowledge, functional skills and management ability.

General service staff

General service staff provide our essential administrative and technical support, and are normally recruited locally.

National Professional Officers

National Professional Officers are locally-recruited staff serving at a non-headquarters duty station. They perform professional functions requiring local expertise.


WIPO aims to be an employer of choice, offering competitive conditions of service, a rewarding work environment, opportunities for professional development, and a family-friendly, work-life balance.


Remuneration in the Professional and Director categories is made up of two main elements: the base salary, plus the post adjustment element which varies according to the cost of living in the country where the job is based. The post adjustment is added to the base salary in order to provide equivalent living standards at different locations.

The salary scale for professional and director categories (PDF) comprises five Professional levels (P-1 to P-5) and two Director levels (D1 and D2). These scales are applied worldwide by all organizations in the United Nations Common System.

Staff in the General Service category are recruited locally and paid according to the local salary scale (PDF).

Other benefits

Staff are eligible for 30 days of annual leave per year on a full-time basis (or the pro-rata equivalent). They are covered by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Scheme, and by worldwide medical and dental insurance.

Other benefits, which vary according to category and level, may include:

  • Dependency allowance
  • Education grant for schools and first-level university education (up to 75% of expenses)
  • Home leave for staff member and dependents
  • Life insurance
  • Maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • Travel and removal expenses, and an appointment grant
  • Rental subsidy

Applying for a staff position

WIPO seeks to recruit staff from a wide range of backgrounds, and with diverse experience, languages and expertise.  We are committed to matching the best candidate to each role through a thorough review of all applications. Our recruitment process can therefore be lengthy as it involves several steps, usually including pre-screening, a written test, and a final interview with the Appointment Board. On average, it takes about 19 weeks between publication time and the final decision.

Competencies are a combination of skills, attributes and behaviours which are essential for all staff.

Our recruitment principles

  • For each post we seek to appoint the strongest candidate, who will meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.
  • We select on the strength of candidates’ qualifications, experience and demonstrated competences for the job.
  • We seek to recruit staff from as wide a geographical basis as possible.
  • We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all candidates who meet the minimum requirements, irrespective of gender, racial, ethnic or social origin, color, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.
  • We are committed to achieving gender balance at all levels of the Organization.

Tips for applicants

  • Understand the requirements of the position you are interested in, and only apply if you meet them all.
  • If you are invited for an interview, come prepared. Familiarize yourself with the work of WIPO and the position you are applying for.
  • Be ready to share concrete examples and situations from your previous professional experiences that illustrate your ability to perform the duties of the job you are applying for.
  • Make sure to familiarize yourself with the WIPO competencies.
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The WIPO Internship Program provides an opportunity for interns to complement their educational experience and to develop their professional skills and experience through participation in work in an international context.

Company Statistics

Date Established


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Geneva, Switzerland