Paris Notification No. 133
PCT Notification No. 69
Madrid (Marks) Notification No. 51
The Hague Notification No. 34

Situation after the Accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and, referring to Paris Notification No. 123, Madrid (Marks) Notification No. 44 and The Hague Notification No. 31 of December 20, 1990, concerning the ceasing of the German Democratic Republic being a party to certain treaties administered by WIPO, has the honor to convey the following information, received from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, on the situation of industrial property rights resulting from the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Pursuant to provisions on industrial property rights contained in the Treaty of August 31, 1990, between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic on the Creation of the Unity of Germany (Unification Treaty), industrial property rights arising from applications or registrations pending or in force on October 2, 1990, in the Federal Republic of Germany or in the German Democratic Republic continued to have effect, as of October 3, 1990, on either the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany as it existed before October 3, 1990, or on the territory of the former German Democratic Republic. Rights originating in the former German Democratic Republic continued to be governed, with a few exceptions relating primarily to procedural provisions, by the respective laws of the former German Democratic Republic.

On May 1, 1992, the Law of April 23, 1992, on the Extension of Industrial Property Rights entered into force. This Law provides that all industrial property rights which have been maintained for the respective territories of the Federal Republic of Germany as it existed before October 3, 1990, or the former German Democratic Republic are, as of May 1, 1992, automatically extended to the remainder of Germany and will therefore now cover all of Germany. In respect of all those rights the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany apply, with the exception of certain provisions of the former German Democratic Republic on conditions and term of protection.

As far as industrial property rights which originated in the Federal Republic of Germany as it existed before October 3, 1990, are concerned, the extension covers the following industrial property rights:

- patent rights, including international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty which had designated the Federal Republic of Germany and European patents applied for or granted with effect for the Federal Republic of Germany pursuant to the European Patent Convention;

- utility model rights, including international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty which had designated the Federal Republic of Germany;

- rights relating to topographies of integrated circuits;

- industrial design rights, including industrial designs deposited with effect for the Federal Republic of Germany under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, and rights concerning typographical type faces;

- trademark and service mark rights, including international registrations of marks extended to the Federal Republic of Germany under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks.

As far as industrial property rights which originated in the former German Democratic Republic are concerned, the extension covers the following industrial property rights:

- patent rights, including exclusive patents and economic patents and including patent rights having effect in the German Democratic Republic under the Agreement of December 18, 1976, on the Mutual Recognition of Inventors, Certificates and other Documents of Protection for Inventions (Havana Agreement);

- industrial design rights, including authors' certificates and patents for industrial designs and including industrial designs deposited with effect for the German Democratic Republic under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs;

- trademark and service mark rights, including international registrations of marks extended to the German Democratic Republic under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks;

- registered geographical indications and applications for the registration of geographical indications, which may be converted to collective marks by filing an application within one year after the entry into force of the Law on the Extension of Industrial Property Rights; the priority of the registration or application date is preserved.

When, as a result of the extension, extended industrial property rights come into conflict, special rules apply. Whereas in the case of conflicting patents, utility models and industrial designs, the respective rights have no effect against each other, in the case of conflicting trademarks and service marks the respective marks may not be used in the territory not covered by them previously if the holder of a mark in that territory objects to such use. These principles are, however, subject to a number of exceptions.

The International Bureau of WIPO has issued notices informing about the consequences of the Law on the Extension of Industrial Property Rights in respect of international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), international deposits under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs and international registrations under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks.

August 31, 1992