International Conventions -OLD with URL links included (before 19sept2012)

MERIS view of the world

Intellectual property has a dual nature, i.e. it has both a national and international dimension. For instance, patents are governed by national laws and rules of a given country, while international conventions on patents ensure minimum rights and provide certain measures for enforcement of rights by the contracting states. Within Europe, the European Union is pushing for the harmonisation of both substantive and procedural laws.

General Conventions

Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property Rights signed in Paris on 20 March 1883, as last revised on 14 July 1967 (Paris Convention).

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights including trade in counterfeit goods (TRIPS Agreement) part of the GATT Uruguay Round signed in April 1994. The TRIPS Agreement, negotiated during the Uruguay Round, sets minimum standards for most categories of IPRs.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works Paris Act of 24 July 1971. This was first drafted on 9 September 1886, completed in Paris on 4 May 1896, revised in Berlin on 13 November 1908, completed in Berne on 20 March 1914, revised: Rome 2 June 1928, Brussels 26 June 1948, Stockholm 14 July 1967, Paris 24 July 1971 and amended on 28 September 1979.

Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), signed at Stockholm on 14 July 1967, amended on 28 September 1979.


Patent Cooperation Treaty of 19 June 1970, signed at Washington on 19 June 1970, amended on 28 September 1979, modified on 3 February 1984 and 3 October 2001.

Patent Law Treaty adopted at Geneva 2 June 2000.

Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification, signed on 24 March 1971, amended on 28 September 1979.

Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, concluded in 1977.

Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973, as revised by the Act revising Article 63 EPC of 17 December 1991 and the Act revising the EPC of 29 November 2000.


Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) adopted at Geneva on 27 October 1994.

Madrid Agreement (April 1891) and Protocol (June 1989) concerning the International Registration of Marks.

Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purpose of the Registration of Marks signed at Nice on 15 June 1957.

Vienna Agreement establishing an international classification of the Figurative elements of Marks, signed at Vienna on 12 June 1973, as amended on 1 October 1985.

Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol, adopted on September 26, 1981.

Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, adopted March 13 to 26, 2006.

Community Trademark Regulation no. 40/94 of 20 December 1993.

Industrial designs

The Hague Agreement for the international deposit of industrial design, signed 28 November 1960. With one simple filing with the WIPO Office located in Geneva, the holder enjoys protection in one or several of the 29 countries party to the Agreement.

Locarno Agreement establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs signed at Locarno on 8 October 1968, as amended on 28 September 1979.

The Community Design (98/71/EC). As of 1 April 2003 a uniform protection system, requiring registration at the Alicante Office for Harmonisation in the internal market, and valid throughout the Community, came into force. This system, set up under a Regulation adopted by the EU Council of Ministers on 12 December 2001 (98/71/EC), basically aims at fostering creativity and innovation, and reducing counterfeiting and piracy within the internal market. The registration procedure is simple and inexpensive.

Some types of designs are not covered by the Community design, such as component parts not visible once incorporated into complex projects or designs dictated by function of the product. This Community Design protection coexists with national protection systems and does not replace them.

Topographies of semi-conductor products

The Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits (Washington, 26 May 1989). Contracting parties constitute themselves into a Union and have the obligation to secure protection throughout its territory. Any member of WIPO or the UN may become party to this Treaty.

Community Directive No. 87/54/EEC of 16 December 1986.

Community Council Directives on copyright and neighbouring rights and Commission recommendations

Directive 87/54/EEC of 16 December 1986 on the legal protection of topographies of semiconductor products.

Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs.

Directive 93/83/EEC of 27 September 1993 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission.

Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases.

Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

Directive 2001/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art.

Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Commission Recommendation on collective cross-border management of copyright and related rights for legitimate online music services.

Directive 2006/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property.

Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.

Last update: 22 November 2012

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