PARIS CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY

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Living in a global economy means that certain laws must stretch across nations, including intellectual property laws. An inventor who wants his or her invention protected in foreign countries has the option of filing for a patent in each country in which protection is sought or can file an international patent application. 

What is the Paris Convention?

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, formed in 1883, was the first significant outcome in this regard. Even today, the Paris Convention forms the keystone of the international regime for the protection of industrial property. A testimony to the Convention’s continuing relevance is the fact that the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement) has expressly included, by reference, the substantive provisions of the Paris Convention, as revised in Stockholm in the year 1967. As a consequence of this reference and inclusion, Paris Convention today extends to about 171 countries, including all the members of the World Trade Organization.

The Paris Convention, concluded in 1883, was revised at Brussels in 1900, at Washington in 1911, at The Hague in 1925, at London in 1934, at Lisbon in 1958 and at Stockholm in 1967, and was amended in 1979.

Objectives:

  • To articulate national systems with different standards of protection in the fields of patents and trademarks.
  • To establish the obligation to protect some sorts of Industrial Property assets but without establishing minimum standards.

Types of IPR protected under the Convention

  • The purpose of the Paris Convention is to protect various forms of Intellectual Property,such as Patents, Utility Models, Industrial Designs,Trademarks, Service Marks, Trade names, indications of source or appellations of origin,
  • repression of unfair competition, and 
  • to protect agricultural & extractive industries like wine, tobacco, cattle, minerals, flowers and flour.

The substantive provisions of the Convention fall into three main categories: 

  • NATIONAL TREATMENT 
    Under the provisions on national treatment, the Convention provides that, as regards the protection of industrial property, each Contracting State must grant the same protection to nationals of other Contracting States that it grants to its own nationals. Nationals of non-Contracting States are also entitled to national treatment under the Convention if they are domiciled or have a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a Contracting State.
  • RIGHT OF PRIORITY
  • Article 4 of the Paris Convention speaks about the right to priority in matters of Industrial Property registration On the basis of a regular first application filed in one of the contracting States, the applicant may, within a certain period of time (12 months for patents; 6 months for industrial designs and marks), apply for protection in any of the other contracting States; these later applications will be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application, i.e., the later application will have priority over applications which may have been filed during the said period of time by other persons for the same invention, mark or industrial design.
  • As per this principle, the date of Application in one member country would be deemed to be the date of Application in other member countries, if the priority is claimed within the prescribed time of the earlier Application from which the priority is claimed.
  • COMMON RULES
  • Certain rules which all the contracting States must follow. Some of the important rules are as follows:
  • Independence of patents: Patents granted in different contracting States for the same invention are independent of each other – the granting of a patent in one contracting State does not oblige the other contracting States to grant a patent; a patent cannot be refused, annulled or terminated in any contracting State on the ground that it has been refused or annulled or has terminated in any other contracting State.The investor has the right to be named as such in the patent.
  • Compulsory license for patents: legislative measures providing for the grant of compulsory licenses must have certain limitations. For example, a request for compulsory license based on failure to work the patented invention may be filed only after 3-4 years of failure to work or insufficient working of the patented invention and the request must be refused if the patentee gives legitimate reasons to justify his inaction.
  • Marks: no application for the registration of a mark filed by a national of a contracting State may be refused, nor may a registration be invalidated, on the ground that filing, registration or renewal has not been effected in the country of origin.
  • Industrial Designs: must be protected in each contracting State, and protection may not be forfeited on the ground that the articles incorporating the design are not manufactured in that State.
  • Trade Names: Protection must be granted to trade names in each contracting State without the obligation of filing or registration.
  • Indications of Source: Measures must be taken by each contracting State against direct or indirect use of a false indication of the source of the goods or the identity of the producer, manufacturer or trader.
  • Unfair Competition: Each contracting State must provide for effective protection against unfair competition.

Temporary protection for goods shown at some international exhibitions:

  • The countries of the Union shall, in conformity with their domestic legislation, grant temporary protection to patentable inventions, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks, in respect of goods exhibited at official or officially recognized international exhibitions held in the territory of any of them.
  • Such temporary protection shall not extend the periods provided by Article 4. If, later, the right of priority is invoked, the authorities of any country may provide that the period shall start from the date of introduction of the goods into the exhibition. 
  • Each country may require, as proof of the identity of the article exhibited and of the date of its introduction, such documentary evidence as it considers necessary.

Prevention of Abuse of IPR :

  • Article 5 of the Convention talks about the State Powers in regulating the possible abuse of Patents by IPR holder.
  •  This Article makes it clear that the importation of the Patented Product is not prima facie illegal, if the Patented process or product is available to the members of the public at reasonable cost.

The countries that are contracting parties to the Paris Convention also have th opportunity to join the Patent Coopertion Treaty (PCT), which allows contracting parties to file international patent applications. The intellectual property world offers several scopes for the protection of investions irrespective of borders. Hence it depends on the investors to make the best use of the opportunities to protect their investions.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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