WIPO 2018 Assemblies Treaty Action

What happened

The multilateral treaties at WIPO’s center attracted new support during the 2018 Assemblies, with nine new accessions or ratifications during the September 24-October 2, 2018, meetings held at WIPO headquarters in Geneva.

Video: Director General Francis Gurry discusses the importance of member states joining WIPO treaties.

Why it’s important

WIPO administers 26 intellectual property (IP)-related treaties that help innovators and creators protect and promote their works in the modern, global economy.

Each new member state contracting party to a WIPO treaty represents a vote of confidence for modern-day multilateral activity and WIPO’s role in helping facilitate international cooperation among its member states. This is particularly welcome at a time when the entire multilateral system is under pressure and rule-making by consensus, including the approval of new WIPO treaties, is encountering challenges.

WIPO received 28 accessions in the period between September 2017 and the opening of the WIPO 2018 Assemblies: Treaty ratification in the IP sphere illustrates an awareness that positive developments at the international level will benefit citizens back home.

More information: Notifications | Contracting parties | Summary table of membership

Marrakesh Treaty gets new adherents

Azerbaijan, the European Union and Japan joined the Marrakesh Treaty, bringing to 71 the number of countries covered by the agreement that eases the creation and transfer across national boundaries of texts specially adapted for use by visually impaired people.

Why it’s important: The World Health Organization estimates that 253 million are living with visual impairments around the world, with the majority located in lower-income countries. Meanwhile, only a small fraction of published works are available in accessible format for people with visual impairments. The Marrakesh Treaty addresses this gap.

In opening the 2018 Assemblies, Director General Francis Gurry said of the Marrakesh Treaty:

We may now look with some confidence to a time when the Treaty will be universal, which will be a great achievement for the Organization.

More information: Contracting parties pdf | Members of the Marrakesh Treaty Assembly

India joins "Internet Treaties"

India joined the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty - known together as the "Internet Treaties". India’s accession brings the total number of contracting parties to the "Internet Treaties" to 97 each.

The WIPO Internet Treaties update the multilateral copyright system set forth in older treaties such as the Berne Convention from 1886 and the Rome Convention from 1961 for the digital era.  By joining these treaties, India is taking an important step to support the development of its renowned creative industries and to allow them to distribute their creative outputs worldwide within the copyright framework.

The WIPO Copyright Treaty updates the Berne Convention by covering categories of copyrighted works that are products of the digital age and important to Indian creative industries, including its IT industries, such as computer software and electronic databases.  The Internet Treaties also include important, updated rights such as communication to the public that facilitate global commerce of works in digital form.  The ability to control the distribution of digital files for music, videos, video games and films allows Indian industries and individual creators, as well as performers and sound recording producers, to benefit from this global distribution system.

More information WCT: Notification | Contracting parties pdf | Members of the WIPO Copyright Treaty Assembly

More information WPPT: Notification | Contracting parties pdf | Members of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty Assembly

Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement

Côte d’Ivoire joined the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications as its second contracting party. The Geneva Act will enter into force after five eligible parties accede or ratify it.

Many, if not most, developing countries are extremely rich, in amongst other things, agricultural produce. Branding that agricultural produce is extremely important in order to get additional value in the markets to which the produce is sent and eventually in which they are sold. There are various ways of doing this. One of the ways is geographical indications and appellations of origin. For this, the Lisbon Agreement is essential and the Geneva Act is the latest and most modern version so we are very very happy to see this progress to the stage where we hope it will come into force before too long.

said Director General Gurry in accepting Cote d’Ivoire’s accession.

More information: Notification | Contracting parties pdf | Members of the Lisbon Union Assembly

The Madrid System

Malawi joined the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, bringing the International Trademark System to 118 countries covered.  Find out more...

The Madrid System makes it possible to apply for trademark protection in up to 118 territories by filing a single international application with the national or regional IP office of a Madrid System member. With the Madrid System, the process of multinational trademark registration is streamlined through a single application and management process. Today, the Madrid Registry is focused on delivering a streamlined, customer-driven experience for users throughout the lifecycle of their mark with its evolving suite of e-services and online resources.

More information: Notification | Contracting parties pdf

Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks

Peru joined the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks as the 47th contracting party.

The objective of the Singapore Treaty is to create a modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonization of administrative trademark registration procedures. Building on the Trademark Law Treaty of 1994, the Singapore Treaty has a wider scope of application and addresses more recent developments in the field of communication technologies. The Singapore Treaty is applicable to all types of marks registrable under the law of a given contracting party. Contracting parties are free to choose the means of communication with their offices (including communications in electronic form or by electronic means of transmittal).

More information: Notification | Contracting parties pdf | Members of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks Assembly

Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances

Peru became the 21st member of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, which will enter into force after it is joined by 30 contracting parties. The Beijing Treaty was adopted in June 2012. The Treaty deals with the IP rights of performers in audiovisual performances. It grants performers four kinds of economic rights for their performances fixed in audiovisual fixations, such as motion pictures. These are the right of reproduction, the right of distribution,  the right of rental and the right of making available.

More information: Notification | Contracting parties pdf