For scholars, professionals and people interested in intellectual property it is important to take into account the historical frame in which intellectual property has developed and the transcendental impact that the creation of the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property – ASIPI has had in the American continent.
The regulation and institutionalization of intellectual property goes back to the 15th century in Europe and its expansion to America only took place at the end of the 18th century and through the 19th century. Legislations related to patents were the first ones to appear, then the ones concerningtrademarks and since then intellectual property has accompanied the economic, social and technological development which has taken place all over the world.
In 1883 the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property was subscribed with the participation of three American countries (today, all of the countries of the continent are signatories thereof). The Paris Convention has encouraged the emergence of different international public organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO, which administers the Paris Convention, the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties – UPOVand the World Trade Organization – WTO, responsible for the “Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights”, TRIPS Agreement.
There are several private international organisms dealing with intellectual property matters, close to 200 nowadays, including those which are multilateral and regional. The oldest one of these is the “International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property”, founded in 1897. As of the second half of the 20th century different intellectual property regional organisms started being created, being the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property, founded in 1961 the oldest one.