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    WIPO: Protection Of Country Names Inspires Delegates; Designs Conference Elusive

    Published on 20 September 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The use of a country name by third party with no association with the country can have a severe impact on a developing country’s economy, according to the governments of Jamaica and Barbados. The two Caribbean nations are asking this week that the World Intellectual Property Organization undertake a study on the protection of country names in the context of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT).

    During the last session of the SCT in January, Barbados and Jamaica presented a proposal [pdf] with a three-phase work plan. Jamaica then submitted an additional document [pdf] to facilitate the implementation of the work plan.

    This afternoon, after the morning discussions, Barbados and Jamaica submitted a revised proposal for a study on the protection of country names [pdf] with terms of reference. This study would analyse “the current legislative provisions and practices in national or regional legislations relating to the protection of country names, in particular in the field of registration of trademarks.”

    The delegate of Jamaica said that the country had provided a report with case studies and sets of evidence, enumerating concerns but also steps taken to protect Jamaica’s brand. They identified a list of products and services bearing the name Jamaica which have no association to the country, as well as registered trademarks using the name of Jamaica, he said. The report also states efforts and steps taken by the government and the private sector to establish a nation brand, he added.

    Empirical assessment of the impact of the use of country names on developing countries is needed in view of the limitations of the intellectual property system to address the issue, he said. The ultimate goal of the exercise is to produce a reference resource, or joint recommendation which would guide future developments of domestic and international practice, legislation and related jurisprudence in relation to the protection of country names, he said.

    During the morning, several countries, such as Argentina, Chile, China, Ghana, Korea, Switzerland and the central European and Baltic states, supported further work of the SCT on country names. However, the European Union had reservations about scope, costs and feasibility of the proposed work programme. The EU said its member states recognise the importance of the subject and are prepared to discuss further but that the committee should focus on industrial designs with the view of convening a diplomatic conference in the near future.

    After the submission of the revised proposal by Barbados and Jamaica, the EU said some of the elements still were problematic, such as the scope being too broad, and proposed to discuss with the two proponents informally. The plenary will continue the discussion tomorrow.

    EU Pushing for Diplomatic Conference on Designs

    After going through the draft articles and the draft regulations of a potential treaty on industrial designs yesterday, delegates could not agree today on whether to make a recommendation to the annual WIPO General Assembly in two weeks on the convening of a diplomatic conference.

    Most countries taking the floor said such a treaty would be useful but many of them, including the African Group and the Development Agenda Group said the time was not ripe yet. Group B developed countries were uncharacteristically silent during the discussions on industrial designs and according to one Group B delegate, while the EU is pushing for a diplomatic conference (a high-level treaty negotiation), some other members of the group are not in such a hurry.

    The discussion will also continue tomorrow in plenary session said SCT Chair Imre Gonda.

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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