Intellectual property international treaties and conventions
Produced in partnership with Rouse Legal
Intellectual property international treaties and conventions

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Rouse Legal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Intellectual property international treaties and conventions
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (1970)
  • Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891) and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement (1989)
  • Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (1925)
  • Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) (1994)
  • Patent Law Treaty (PLT) (2000)
  • Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification (1971)
  • Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (1957)
  • more

Intellectual property (IP) laws are almost always national in nature. However, there are many conventions and treaties under which nations agree to provide minimum levels of IP protection, and to protect IP created by nationals of other countries.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) administers over 20 treaties and conventions on the registration, classification and protection of IP. Details of the treaties it administers, and the parties to those treaties, can be found on its website.

This Practice Note discusses some of the major conventions and treaties it administers. It does not cover all of the treaties and conventions relating to European patents. For more information about the historical background to the EU unitary patent and Unified Patent Court initiative, see Practice Note: Unitary patents and the Unified Patent Court—historical background and development.

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)

This was the first convention to harmonise the IP laws of its contracting states. It applies to patents, trade marks, industrial designs, utility models, trade names and geographical indications. A list of contracting states can be found here.

Major provisions

  1. each contracting state must grant the same protection to nationals of other contracting states as it does to its own nationals

  2. applicant for a patent, utility model, mark or industrial design has a right of priority. Applicant for a

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