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Civil Service

While the history of intellectual property has always been characterised by the development of its surrounding administrative agencies, the second half of the twentieth century heightened its bureaucratic ethos, particularly at the international and regional level. Some organisations and departments changed their names in order to reflect the rise of ‘intellectual property’ as the umbrella term of the discipline. But for some of these institutions, changing their ‘operating name’ also involved a branding strategy to position themselves in what has become a competitive market of political agency in international intellectual property. For instance, BIRPI (Bureaux Internationaux Réunis de la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle) became WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation); the British Patent Office became the Intellectual Property Office and OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market) became EUIP (European Intellectual Property Office).