Intellectual property laws are incredibly important in ensuring that the person or company that creates something gets to receive the fiscal benefits of creating something new that the entire world could potentially enjoy. Many laws are in place to ensure patents are protected, but one event that was instrumental in the field of intellectual property was the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. If you are interested in learning more about the history of intellectual property laws, then this is a momentous item to learn about.
One of the first treaties concerning the field of intellectual property was signed at this convention. It was signed in Paris, France on March 20th, 1883. The laws brought forth by this convention are still in force, and they are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. This organization is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
The history of this treaty dates back to 1880 when a diplomatic conference was held in Paris. The convention and subsequent treaty occurred in 1883, and at first it was only signed by 11 countries. These included Switzerland, Spain, Serbia, El Salvador, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Guatemala, France, Brazil and Belgium. As of this writing, there are 169 countries that abide by the Paris Convention, which include Germany, Japan, Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. Various revisions have been made to the treaty throughout the years.
What Does This Treaty Do?
The Paris Convention offered some of the most widespread protections for individuals and businesses that own trademarks, patents, utility models, industrial designs, geographical indications and trade names. It was really the first major step in ensuring that creators are given protections for their works even in other countries. This convention created the provision of national treatment. This establishes that each state must offer individuals or businesses with a patent the same protections as they would give national citizens of their own state.
The convention also established the right of priority. This means that an individual could file a patent for his or her invention in whatever country that person lives in. After a given amount of time, the inventor could file for a patent within any other countries that have agreed to the Paris Convention. The amount of time a person would need to wait is six months for industrial marks and designs and 12 months for utility models and patents. This provision is incredibly beneficial because it means that patent filers do not have to file patents at several countries at the same time, which can cause a lot of headaches. You can focus on your homeland first and then decide what other countries would be best for getting a patent filed.
A few common rules are established. These go into great detail within the actual writing of the treaty, but one of them is that patents are independent of each other when dealing with different contracting states. While a patent cannot be terminated or refused on the grounds that it was terminated or refused in another state, a country is under no obligations to accept the patent if it fails in some other capacity. These common rules also apply to collective marks such as unfair competition, indications of source, trade names and industrial designs.
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is an interesting event to delve into if you are interested in one day filing for patents in other countries besides the one you currently live in. Companies that have worldwide reputations should particularly look into law to make sure everything is being handled correctly. This convention was brought together so that inventors are granted international protections, and its authority is clear based on the fact that it was created in 1883 and is still in effect to this day.
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