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Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) Presentation CRF 2009

Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) Presentation CRF 2009



Presentation by the Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) - WIPO Integration

Presentation by the Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) - WIPO Integration



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    Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) Presentation CRF 2009 Department of Trade and Industry (Republic of South Africa) Presentation CRF 2009 Presentation Transcript

    • Purpose
      • The purpose of the presentation is to give a high level overview of the integration process at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
    • Background
      • Intellectual property (IP) rights is regulated through international agreements/treaties.
      • WIPO is a United Nation agency and therefore an intergovernmental organization.
      • WIPO manages _+22 treaties
      • Most of the treaties deal with Registration processes
      • Integration can take place only by becoming a member of common treaties
      • Integration can take place at substantive and procedural levels
      • Integration can take place
      • Integration may also take place at “registration” level
      • Integration may also take place by sharing common database at international/regional levels
      • Integration may also take place if two/three nations connect their databases or join trilateral agreements.
    • International treaties
      • Paris Convention: Registration of Trade marks, Patents, designs. Registration happens at a country level and one needs to visit each an every country if one needs protection. Databases may not necessarily talk to each other.
      • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) : Registration of patents at an international level. Registration forms is done in one member state and forms are deposited at WIPO level. Search and examination is done at WIPO level. Member states share a common database at WIPO level. The PCT deals with procedural harmonization of patent laws of member states.
      • Madrid Agreement/Protocol: Registration of trade marks at an international level. See PCT above. Procedural harmonization of trade marks laws of member states takes place.
    • Int. Treaties cont.
      • Hague Agreement on International Deposit of Designs : Registration/Deposit of designs at international level. Procedural harmonization takes place and central deposit in place.
      • Patent Law Treaty (PLT)/Trade Mark Law Treaty (TLT) : These two treaties intend to integrate patent/trade marks law of member states substantively.
      • Intergovernmental Committee on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Folklore and Genetic/Biological Resources (IGC): The IGC mandate is to formulate a treaty on the protection of traditional knowledge where it interfaces with IP. If possible treaties will be formulated and they will be biding at international level. However, member states of WIPO have deadlocked in this area. The consequences of this deadlock is that many programmes of WIPO, including integration will hardly progress, e.g. harmonization of Privilege Information in the Patent Profession and stoppage of further work in patent harmonization.
      Potential Treaties
    • TRIPS Agreement
      • The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of the World Trade Organisation provides minimum standards to be complied with by member states. Some of these requirements are procedural and substantive.
    • Patent scope
      • This service provides access to PCT international published applications.
      • Latest bibliographic data and documents contained in the PCT international applications available.
      • The data and documents are based on the electronic records (searchable database electronically).
    • Madrid and Hague
      • Madrid Agreement/Protocol and Hague Agreement as described above simplify the subsequent management of the marks/designs since it is possible to record subsequent changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step.
    • Regions-arrangement
      • WIPO also assist its regional arragements, e.g. Africa, Latin America and Asia as well as Latin America.
      • In Africa there is OAPI and ARIPO. OAPI has substantively harmonized its laws whereas ARIPO has procedurally done so.
      • Under the African Union, a Harmonization Project in all Business Laws will commence soon.
      • Probably company law regime will also fall under the Harmonization Project
    • Benefits of integration
      • Intelligent information can be shared, e.g. latest amendments
      • Holders of IP can be traced with a view of conducting business, e.g. concluding licensing agreements and other collaborations
      • Facilitate trade
    • Companies
      • Possible to commence with harmonization of laws under the company law regime
      • Harmonization may be procedural or substantive and/or both
      • Databases may be connected for search purposes
    • Challenges: integrat
      • States claiming sovereignty on various issues
      • Which law will form a basis for integration relating to substantive harmonization/integration?
    • Conclusion
      • Trading nations are starting to harmonize various laws such as competition and IP laws at regional levels, e.g. SADC in order to facilitate predictable trading rules. This can be done also in company law regime at an international level, e.g. Financial Reporting Standards for Corporate Governance.
      • Sovereignty of states may have to give way in order to facilitate trade for developmental purposes