Paris Convention is one of the oldest International Treaties for the protection of Intellectual Property at the International Level. Paris Convention has succeeded in bringing together diversified countries with the aim of harmonizing and protecting Intellectual Property with regards to trade names, industrial designs, patents, utility models, copyrights and unfair competition.
Paris Convention was adopted in 1883 and has undergone several revisions since its inception.
Major outcome of the Paris Convention has been WIPO which is the global administrative body looking after and supervising IPR law amongst signatory countries.
Main aspects of the Paris Convention:
· National Treatment: Nationals of signatory countries enjoy reciprocity in treatment which means each national enjoys the same advantages and benefits in all the signatory countries the way he would in his home country. Paris Convention ensures equality in Intellectual Property Law to all the nationals of the contracting signatory countries.
· Priority: Paris Convention ensures that the priority of a trademark application is not lost in multiple jurisdictions, which means that a person can claim priority in the country of his choice within 6 months of filing the trademark application in his home country and yet retain the same date of filing in the country of choice.
The most advantageous aspect of the Paris Convention is that, the applicant need not go about filing applications in all the countries of choice at one go but has a window of 6 months to consolidate and choose wisely as to the preferred country that the applicant thinks is most suited for prosecuting his trademarks.
· Protection of Source of Origin: Contracting states must take appropriate measures against false indication, manufacture and sales of the registered trademarks so as to protect the authenticity of the source, producer, manufacturer and trader.
· Collective Marks: belonging to associations are to be protected by all signatory countries.
· Service Marks: are brought on par with trademarks and are mandatorily to be recognized by all signatory countries.
· Unfair Competition: All the signatory countries have to assure protection against Unfair Competition to all the nationals which comprises of practices contrary to honest trade namely, activities creating confusion, false allegations, misleading public.
· Remedies: Breach in Intellectual Property Rights of nationals of the signatory countries are remedied as per the national laws of such countries where the violation takes place.
· Prohibition of Official Insignia: such as State Emblems, Official Hallmarks, Emblems of Inter governmental Organisations.
The Paris Convention has played a crucial and significant role in establishing the international entity WIPO which acts in the administrative and supervisory capacity regarding harmony of Intellectual Property Rights amongst the signatory countries.