SCT to Take on New Work on Trademarks and Industrial Designs

Geneva, December 7, 2005
Press Updates UPD/2005/263

Member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have identified a number of topics relating to trademarks and industrial designs for future consideration. This came at a meeting of WIPO's Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT). The 15th session of the SCT, which met from November 28 to December 2, 2005, was attended by 79 member states, one observer delegation, 4 intergovernmental organizations and 11 non-governmental organizations.

The decision to identify future topics of consideration came at the 14th session of the SCT in April 2005 after that body had agreed on a text to be proposed as a basis for negotiations at the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Revised Trademark Law Treaty (TLT), which will be convened in March 2006 (see Update 248/2005) in Singapore. The topics identified at the 15th session, however, will not be discussed at the Diplomatic Conference.

Issues for Future Work

At its previous meeting in April of this year, the SCT had invited members and observers to make suggestions for topics on which the Committee should concentrate its future work. In response to that invitation, 14 members of the SCT raised relevant issues. After a full debate on the various proposals, the SCT decided that it would look in more detail into the following topics.

  • Non-traditional trademarks, such as single color marks, sound, movement or shape marks and, in particular, how such trademarks are registered and published, if at all.
  • The relationship between trademarks, industrial designs and copyright and the overlap of those different types of protection.
  • Trademark opposition procedures, as they tend to gain more and more importance in times of ever–increasing numbers of trademark application.
  • Industrial design registration procedures and procedures for the protection of state emblems under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

The WIPO secretariat will prepare a number of working documents for consideration at the next session of the SCT. Those papers are to examine in detail the questions raised above and will provide the basis for future deliberations of the SCT.

The SCT also reviewed the results of a survey on trademark law and practice, in which more than 70 member states had actively participated. The survey was conducted with the help of a questionnaire containing 369 questions on the trademark laws and administrative office practice of member states. The main purpose of the survey was to identify issues which could be addressed at the international level for the future development of international trademark law. The returned questionnaires offered some 22,000 responses which the secretariat compiled into a summary document. The SCT decided that this document (SCT/14/5 Rev.) should continue to be available to the public and be updated periodically (please see

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