World Intellectual Property Organization

New Parties to WIPO-Administered Treaties in 2004

January 2005

The number of countries that signed up to WIPO-administered treaties in 2004 reflected in the growing recognition of the importance of intellectual property rights in an era in which economic growth is increasingly driven by knowledge and information. During 2004, 61 instruments of accession to or ratification of treaties administered by WIPO were deposited with WIPO Director General Kamil Idris, compared to 52 in 2003.

Last year also marked a significant development in the membership of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid Protocol”) with the deposit by the Council of the European Union, on July 1, of the instrument of accession of the European Community to that treaty.

In the field of industrial property

WIPO Convention - The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization was signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and entered into force in 1970. WIPO is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world through cooperation among States, and for the administration of various multilateral treaties dealing with the legal and administrative aspects of intellectual property.

In 2004, Maldives and the Syrian Arab Republic (2) adhered to the WIPO Convention, bringing the total number of States to 181.

Paris Convention - The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property was concluded in 1883 and is one of the pillars of the international intellectual property system. It applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including inventions, marks, industrial designs, utility models (a kind of "small patent" provided for by the laws of some countries), trade names (designations under which an industrial or commercial activity is carried on), geographical indications (indications of source and appellations of origin) and the repression of unfair competition.

In 2004, Andorra and Pakistan (2) adhered to the Paris Convention, bringing the total number of States to 168.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) - The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) was concluded in 1970. The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an "international" patent application. Such an application may be filed by anyone who is a national or resident of a contracting state. The Treaty regulates the formal requirements with which any international application must comply.

In 2004, San Marino (1) adhered to the PCT, bringing the total number of States to 124.

Madrid Agreement and Madrid Protocol - The Madrid system for the International Registration of Marks (the Madrid system) is governed by two treaties: the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Agreement) and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol).

The Madrid Agreement was concluded in 1891, and the Madrid Protocol was concluded in 1989 in order to introduce certain new features into the Madrid system. These features address the difficulties that prevent certain countries from adhering to the Madrid Agreement by rendering the system more flexible and more compatible with the domestic legislation of these countries.

 In 2004, Namibia and the Syrian Arab Republic (2) adhered to the Madrid Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 56.
 In 2004, the European Community, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia and the Syrian Arab Republic (4) adhered to the Madrid Protocol, bringing the total number of States to 66.

Madrid Agreement (Indications of Source) - The Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of source on Goods was concluded in 1891. Under the Agreement, all goods bearing a false or deceptive indication of source, by which one of the Contracting States, or a place situated therein, is directly or indirectly indicated as being the country or place of origin, must be seized on importation, or such importation must be prohibited, or other actions and sanctions must be applied in connection with such importation.

In 2004, Islamic Republic of Iran (1) adhered to the Madrid Agreement (Source on Goods), bringing the total number of States to 34.

Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) - The Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) was concluded in 1994. The TLT aims to make national and regional trademark registration systems more user-friendly through the simplification and harmonization of procedures.

In 2004, Belgium, Germany and Turkey (3) adhered to the TLT, bringing the total number of States to 33.

Nice Agreement - The Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks was concluded in 1957. The Nice Agreement establishes a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks. The Classification consists of a list of classes (based on types of products and services) of which there are 34 for goods and 11 for services and an alphabetical list of the goods and services.

In 2004, Armenia and the Syrian Arab Republic (2) adhered to the Nice Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 74.

Vienna Agreement - The Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks was concluded in 1973. The Vienna Agreement establishes a classification system for marks which consist of or contain figurative elements. The classification comprises 29 categories, 144 divisions and some 1,887 sections in which the figurative elements of marks are classified.

In 2004, Armenia (1) adhered to the Vienna Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 20. 

Locarno Agreement - The Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs was concluded in 1968. The Locarno Agreement establishes a classification for industrial designs which consists of 32 classes and 223 subclasses based on different types of products. It also comprises an alphabetical list of goods with an indication of the classes and subclasses into which these goods fall. The list contains some 6,600 indications of different kinds of goods.

In 2004, Belgium (1) adhered to the Locarno Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 44.

Strasbourg Agreement (IPC) - The Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification was concluded in 1971. The Strasbourg Agreement establishes the International Patent Classification (IPC), which divides technology into 8 sections with approximately 69,000 subdivisions. Each of these subdivisions has a symbol which is allotted by the national or regional industrial property office that publishes the patent document.

In 2004, Armenia (1) adhered to the Strasbourg Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 55.

Budapest Treaty - The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure was concluded in 1977. The main feature of the Budapest Treaty is that a Contracting State which allows or requires the deposit of microorganisms for the purposes of patent procedure must recognize, for such purposes, the deposit of a microorganism with any "international depositary authority," irrespective of whether such authority is on or outside the territory of the said State. This eliminates the need to deposit in each country in which protection is sought.

In 2004, Armenia and Tunisia (2) adhered to the Budapest Treaty, bringing the total number of States to 60.

Nairobi Treaty - The Nairobi treaty on the Protection of the Olympic symbol was concluded in 1981. All Contracting States are obliged to protect the Olympic symbol (the five interlaces rings) against use for commercial purposes (in advertisements, on goods, as a mark, etc.) without the authorization of the International Olympic committee.
 
In 2004, Croatia and Kyrgyzstan (2) adhered to the Nairobi Treaty, bringing the total number of States to 43.

Lisbon Agreement - The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration was concluded in 1958. The aim of the Agreement is to provide for the protection of appellations of origin, that is, the “geographical name of a country, region, or locality, which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality and characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographic environment, including natural and human factors”. 

In 2004, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Georgia (2) adhered to the Lisbon Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 22.

The Hague Agreement - The system of international deposit of industrial designs is governed by the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs which dates from 1925 and has been revised at various times, in particular in London (1934 Act) and the Hague (1960 Act). A new Act of the Hague Agreement was adopted in Geneva on July 2, 1999. 

In 2004, Croatia and Niger (2) adhered to the Hague Act and the Complementary Act of Stockholm, bringing the total number of States to 31.

The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs was concluded in 1999. The Act is aimed at making the system more responsive to the needs of users and facilitating adherence by countries whose industrial designs systems do not permit them to accede to the 1960 Hague Act.

In 2004, Croatia, Egypt, Hungary, Namibia and Turkey (5) adhered to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, bringing the total number of States to 16.

Patent Law Treaty (PLT) - The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) was concluded in 2000. The purpose of the PLT is to harmonize and streamline formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications and patents. With a significant exception for the filing date requirements, the PLT provides maximum sets of requirements which the office of a contracting party may apply: the office may not lay down any other formal requirements in respect of matters dealt with by this Treaty. 

In 2004, Croatia and Denmark (2) adhered to the PLT, bringing the total number of States to nine. The PLT will enter into force three months after ten instruments of ratification or accession by States have been deposited with the Director General.

In the field of copyright and related rights

Berne Convention - The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was concluded in 1886. The Convention sets out and defines minimum standards of protection of the economic and moral rights of authors of literary and artistic works.

In 2004, Andorra, Bhutan, Ireland, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam (6) adhered to the Berne Convention, bringing the total number of States to 157. 

Rome Convention - The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations, concluded in 1961, secures protection of performers on their performances, phonograms of producers of phonograms and broadcasts of broadcasting organizations.

In 2004, Andorra, Turkey and United Arab Emirates (3) adhered to the Rome Convention, bringing the total number of States to 79. 

WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) - The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) was concluded in 1996. It extends copyright protection to two additional subject matters: (i) computer programs and (ii) compilations of data or other material (“databases”) in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations.

In 2004, Armenia, Botswana, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea and United Arab Emirates (6) adhered to the WCT, bringing the total number of States to 50. 

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) - The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) was concluded in 1996. The Treaty deals with intellectual property rights of two kinds of beneficiaries: (i) performers (actors, singers, musicians, etc.), and (ii) producers of phonograms (the persons or legal entities who or which take the initiative and have the responsibility for the fixation of the sounds). They are dealt with in the same instrument because most of the rights granted by the Treaty to performers are rights connected with their fixed, purely aural performances (which are the subject matter of phonograms).

In 2004, Armenia, Botswana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (6) adhered to the WPPT, bringing the total number of States to 48.

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