This article titled ‘International IPR Conventions’ by Adv. Nikita Pandit and discusses the important International IPR Conventions.  I. Introduction Nationally and internationally, the Intellectual Property Conventions and treaties play a very important role in ensuring the formulation and adherence to the internationally established standards of Intellectual Properties. The international Agreements and conventions ensure uniformity in-laws and protection all over… Read More »

This article titled ‘International IPR Conventions’ by Adv. Nikita Pandit and discusses the important International IPR Conventions. I. Introduction Nationally and internationally, the Intellectual Property Conventions and treaties play a very important role in ensuring the formulation and adherence to the internationally established standards of Intellectual Properties. The international Agreements and conventions ensure uniformity in-laws and protection all over the...

This article titled ‘International IPR Conventions’ by Adv. Nikita Pandit and discusses the important International IPR Conventions.

I. Introduction

Nationally and internationally, the Intellectual Property Conventions and treaties play a very important role in ensuring the formulation and adherence to the internationally established standards of Intellectual Properties. The international Agreements and conventions ensure uniformity in-laws and protection all over the world.

Some important Conventions and treaties are-

  1. Berne Convention (copyright), 1886 – last amended in 1979
  2. Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization – Since 1975
  3. Madrid Protocol (trade marks), 1989. India –since 2013
  4. Paris Convention of 1883 where (priority rights were emphasized and India – in 1998
  5. Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970 where India became a member since 1998
  6. World Trade Organization (WTO) /Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – since 1995
  7. Nairobi Treaty (Protection of the Olympic Symbol)- since 1983
  8. Rome Convention (Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations)-since 1961
  9. Budapest Treaty (the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure) –since 2001
  10. Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled – Since 2014
  11. Washington Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits – Since 1990
  12. Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms – Since 1971

II. Important Conventions and treaties

1. Paris Convention, 1883

Paris Convention, 1883 was applied to patents, trademarks, industrial design, service marks, trade names and geographical indication. Paris Convention was the first attempt made to protect the creators of intellectual property.

The convention covered 3 main ingredients:

  1. National treatment.
  2. Right of priority.
  3. Repressing the unfair competition.

1.1 National treatment

National treatment means providing equal status to the intellectual property of the other contracting nations same as that of the nationals.

1.2 Right of priority

In the case of the patents and industrial designs, the priority date will be considered i.e the date of filing an application for the first time in any contracting party will be considered as the date of filing even when the application for the same is made in another contracting nation within 12 months in patents and 6 months in industrial designs of the first application.

1.3 Repressing the unfair competition

It provided that one contracting nation cannot deny the patent just because other contracting nations denied the same. This convention was revised in Brussels, Washington, Hague, London, Lisbon and Stockholm.

2. The Berne Convention, 1886

The Berne Convention was adopted in the year 1886. It provided protection to the authors such as painters, writers, poets, lyricists, musicians. It gave minimum protection to these authors of the works and made some special provisions for compliance by the developing countries so that they become competent to incorporate similar provisions as that of the other countries.

This Convention was based on three main principles:

  1. The first was that every nation which is the party to this convention should get equal protection for their copyright in all those nations which formed parties to the convention.
  2. The second was that such protection was not to be based on any condition to be fulfilled. It was given automatically by the virtue of being a party to the convention.
  3. The third was that the protection to copyright in the country where the work originated had nothing to do with the protection with other countries, but the period of the protection in the country of origin was considered. If that was less than the protection in the contracting nation, that country could deny further protection more than the period offered by the nation of origin.

The exclusive rights of the authors were recognized:

  1. Right of reproduction
  2. Right of translation
  3. Right of adaptation
  4. Right of publication
  5. Moral rights of the authors

Minimum 50 years of protection was provided after the death of the authors.

3. Rome Convention, 1961

This convention protected the rights of the performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations. The performers were protected from certain acts which were done to publish their performance in contradiction to the terms of the agreement or without their permission.

Phonograms mean fixing the audio sounds in performances or other sounds. This convention protected the rights of the producers of phonograms to prevent others from reproducing them. It also protected the rights of broadcasters from their work getting rebroadcasted.

A minimum of 20 years of protection was ensured by these conventions to the aforementioned entities from the date of fixing the sound in the phonogram, the date of performance or the date of broadcast to the public. WIPO, International Labor Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are jointly responsible to administer the terms of this convention.

4. The WIPO Convention

The WIPO Convention was signed in 1967

It came into force in 1970 and was further amended in 1979. WIPO is an organization on the international platform based on the Berne Convention and Paris Convention and all other treaties and conventions.

Main purpose:

  1. Protection to intellectual property on a global level
  2. Administration of the treaties

Parties to the WIPO Convention:

  1. All nations who are the members of United Nations
  2. The party signing the statute of the International Court of Justice
  3. Invited by WIPO General Assembly

5. Patent Cooperation Treaty, 1970

Patent Cooperation Treaty was passed in the year 1970 to get the protection for the patent rights in all the contracting nations by filing an international application of patent. All the countries who are party to this treaty become bound by the date of filing the patent first time in the contracting nation.

6. Madrid Protocol, 1989

Then the Madrid Protocol of 1989 aimed at making the Madrid system in such a way that the nations which were the parties to the protocol could easily adapt the laws and regulations in their own country. The Madrid Agreement first concluded in 1891 and then was revised at Brussels, Washington, Hague, London, Nice and Stockholm.

This Madrid System provided for the international registration of a trademark which would protection in all the nations who were the party to the contract who has obtained registration in the country of origin. The information is given to WIPO Bureau and then the bureau examines it.

If there are no problems, the mark is published in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks. The protection is for a period of 10 years and can be renewed for the next 10 years on expiry.

7. Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,1995

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights was a part of an agreement entered into in the year 1995 which also had established the World Trade Organization. TRIPS includes within itself all the agreements within the purview of WIPO, Berne Convention and Paris Convention.

All the members of WTO also have to follow the TRIPS Agreement and cannot avoid following it. TRIPS provide for the uniform trade principle to be followed when dealing with the treatment of all types of Intellectual Properties. It balances the economic interest of the creator with the social aspects such as the betterment of the environment, health, culture and society.

Traditionally TRIPS did not cover the digitalization of the world and developments in science and technology. So WIPO came up with the WCT and WPPT to address these issues and alter the position which TRIPS could not do.

8. WIPO Copyrights Treaty, 1996

WIPO Copyrights Treaty of 1996 passed under the Berne Convention extended the protection to the works on digital platforms like computer programs and compilations like databases. 50 years of protection was prescribed for any kind of works. It also provided for the protection of the information available online with tools.

9. WIPO Performances and phonograms treaty, 1996

WIPO Performances and phonograms treaty of 1996 protected the performer’s and phonogram producer’s rights. This treaty-protected their rights and also gave the performers the moral rights of being attributed to their work and be protected from the distortion of their work. This treaty also gave a minimum of 50 years of protection to the creators and also standardized the equitable remuneration of the performers and producers of the phonograms.

These are some important agreements, treaties and conventions that provide protection to Intellectual Property on an international platform.


References

  1. WIPO-Administered Treaties, Available Here.
  2. Other intellectual property conventions incorporated by reference into the TRIPS Agreement, Available Here.
  3. Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Available Here.
  4. WIPO-Administered Treaties, Available Here.
  5. Summary of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886), Available Here.
  6. Summary of the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations (1961), Available Here.
  7. Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, Available Here.
  8. Summary of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (1970), Available Here.
  9. Summary of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891) and the Protocol Relating to that Agreement (1989), Available Here.
  10. Summary of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) (1996), Available Here.
  11. Summary of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) (1996), Available Here.

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Updated On 2021-10-28T06:37:57+05:30
Nikita Pandit

Nikita Pandit

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