Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks to Enter into Force in 2009

Geneva, December 17, 2008

A new international treaty setting standards for trademark registration procedures will become effective in 2009 following its ratification by Australia on December 16, 2008. This is the tenth ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (“the Singapore Treaty”) and will allow the treaty to enter into force on March 16. 2009.

WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, welcomed this development saying that the entry into force of the Singapore Treaty was good news for trademark owners around the world as it opened the way for the branded goods industry to register and manage trademark rights cost-effectively and efficiently. This, he said, was a particularly welcome development for companies seeking to generate cost savings, and maintain their market position in the current turbulent economic circumstances.
The Singapore Treaty was adopted by WIPO member states in Singapore on March 28, 2006. The Treaty standardizes procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing and enables owners of trademarks and national trademark authorities to take advantage of efficiencies in using modern communications technologies to process and manage evolving trademark rights.  By establishing common standards for procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing, the Treaty helps to create a level playing field for all economic operators that invest in branded goods. It recognizes developments in the branded goods industry and marks a new approach to securing investment in product differentiation. A great deal of creativity and investment goes into the development of brands and it is vital for the industry to be able to secure that investment. The Singapore Treaty establishes trademark office administration rules applicable to all types of trademarks, taking into account the advantages and potential of electronic communication facilities, while recognizing the varying needs of both developing and developed nations.
The Treaty, through an Assembly of contracting parties, also creates a dynamic regulatory framework with a built-in review mechanism that will help ensure that the international legal framework remains attuned to the evolving practical concerns of trademark owners as well as to the needs of developing countries.
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