The Paris Convention

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (“Paris Convention”) was the first attempt at what became the thrust towards “harmonization” of trademark laws in various countries, aiming for uniform treatment for trademark owners in different countries. Even with the proliferation of other Agreements, Protocols and Treaties, the Paris Convention remains relevant today. The Paris Convention is administered by the World Intellectual Property (WIPO). The convention also applies other types of intellectual property, including patents, industrial designs, utility models, trade names, appellations of origin and unfair competition.

The main point of the Paris Convention is that nationals of a country who is a contracting member to the Convention should be treated the same in other contracting member countries with respect to intellectual property.

Article 4 of the Paris Convention provides that a trademark application filed in one member state will receive the same priority date if the application is filed within six months in another member state.

Article 6bis provides for the protection of well-known marks.

Article 6sexies provided for the protection of Service Marks in member states, though has been superceded by World Trade Organization provisions providing protection for service marks.

Article 8 provides for protection of Trade Names, without respect to whether or not they are registered and whether or not they form part of a trademark.

Article 10bis provides for protections under national laws for acts which constitute Unfair Competition.

The Paris Convention was the precursor to the creation of many of the treaties, conventions, agreements and protocols which are widely practiced today, such as the Madrid Protocol and the European Community Trademark.

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