Trademark owners to benefit as UN-backed treaty enters into force next year

17 December 2008 – A United Nations-backed global treaty that will ease the process of registering and licensing trademarks is set to become effective next year, having now received the required number of ratifications to enter into force, the world body announced today.

The Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (“the Singapore Treaty”) will enter into force on 16 March, thanks to Australia which yesterday became the tenth country to ratify the agreement, which was adopted by member States of the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in March 2006.

WIPO works with member States to develop international laws and standards for trademarks –distinctive signs, used to differentiate between identical or similar goods and services offered by different producers or services providers – which are a type of industrial property, protected by intellectual property rights.

The agency’s Director General said the Treaty’s entry into force is good news for trademark owners around the world because it opens the way for the branded goods industry to register and manage trademark rights cost-effectively and efficiently.

Francis Gurry added that it is a particularly welcome development for companies which want to generate cost savings, and maintain their market position amid the current economic slowdown.

The Treaty standardizes procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing and enables owners of trademarks and national trademark authorities to take advantage of efficiencies in using modern communications technologies to process and manage evolving trademark rights.

“By establishing common standards for procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing, the Treaty helps to create a level playing field for all economic operators that invest in branded goods,” WIPO said in a news release.


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