Property and intellectual property rights

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Property can be referred to as the means of designating those things that are commonly recognized as being the possessions of an individual, group of people or company. Furthermore, a right of ownership is related with property that demonstrates the good as being “one\’s own thing” in relation to other individuals or groups, giving assurance to the owner of the right to dispense with the property in a manner the individual deems fit, whether to use or not use, exclude other people from using, or to transfer ownership. Properties, in this study can be regarded as having two types. The first is referred to as tangible property and the second is regarded as intangible property i.e. one that is physically and currently present and the other which is not in any physical form. Building, land, house, cash, jewellery are very few instances of tangible properties which can be viewed and felt physically. On the other hand there is a kind of worthy property that cannot be felt physically as it does not have a physical form. Therefore, Intellectual property is one of the forms of intangible property which commands a material value which can also be more than the value of a tangible asset or property.

In defining property, it often refers to industrial buildings and structures. Therefore, the broad usage of the term “industrial” is clearly set out in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Article 1 (3)):

“Industrial property shall be realised in the broadest sense and shall apply not only to industry and commerce proper, but likewise to agricultural and extractive industries and to most manufactured or natural products, for instance, wines, grain, tobacco leaf, fruit, cattle, minerals, mineral waters, beer, flowers, and flour.”

Industrial property takes different forms; while this includes patents to safeguard inventions; and industrial designs, which are aesthetic creations majorly determining the appearance of industrial products. Industrial property also covers trademarks, service marks, layout-designs of integrated circuits, commercial names and designations, as well as geographical indications, and protection against unfair and unnecessary competition. In some of these, the aspect of intellectual creation, although existent, is less clearly defined. What matters here is that the object of industrial property typically consists of signs transmitting information, in particular to consumers, as regards products and services offered on the market. Protection is focused against unauthorized use of such signs likely to mislead users and against misleading practices and acts in general.

As regards Intellectual property, it refers to an intangible creation of the human mind, usually conveyed or interpreted into a tangible form that is assigned certain rights of property. Examples of intellectual property includes and not limited to; an author\’s copyright on a book or article, a distinctive logo design which represents a soft drink or any other producing company and its products, unique design elements of a web site design, or a patent in the process to manufacture edible and non-edible.

Intellectual property further refers to a loose cluster of legal doctrines that regulate the uses of different kinds of ideas and signature. The law of copyright defends various authentic forms of expression, including novels, movies, musical compositions, and computer software programs. Patent law also protects creativities and some kinds of breakthrough. Trademark law protects words and symbols that identify for consumers the goods and services manufactured or supplied by distinct persons or firms. In terms of Trade-secret law, it protects commercially valuable information (soft-drink formulas, confidential marketing strategies, etc.) that companies tries to disguise from their competitors. The “right of publicity” protects celebrities’ interests in their images and identities.

There is no reason in conceptualizing intellectual property, without outlining intellectual property rights. Intellectual property Right (IPR) is a term that is used for various legal entitlements which bind to certain types of information, ideas, or other intangibles in their originally expressed form. The holder of this legal claim is generally entitled to exercise various and different exclusive rights in relation to the subject matter of the Intellectual Property. The term also reflects the thought that this subject matter is the product of the mind or the intellect, and that Intellectual Property rights may be protected at law in the same way as any other form of property. Intellectual property laws vary from legal power to jurisdiction, such that the acquisition, registration or enforcement of IP rights must be pursued or obtained separately in each territory of interest. IPR can further be defined as the rights given to people over the creation of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creations for a certain period of time.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) is also defined as the rights offered to people over the introduction of their minds. They usually give the developer a right exclusively for the developer over the use of the creations for a certain period of time. Intellectual property (IP) also refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

The economic, political and cultural importance of this collection of rules is increasing rapidly. The fortune chances of many businesses now depend heavily on intellectual-property rights. A growing percentage of the legal profession specializes in intellectual-property disputes. And lawmakers throughout the world are busy brushing up their intellectual property laws. Partly as a result of these trends, scholarly interest in the field has risen drastically in recent years. In law reviews and in journals of philosophy, articles deploying “theories” of intellectual property have multiplied. This essay analyses those theories, weighs them, and considers the roles which they play and ought to play in law making.

Intellectual property, more encompassing, means the legal rights which ensue from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. Different countries have laws to guide intellectual property for two major reasons.

• The first reason is to give statutory expression to the moral and economic rights of work creators in their inventions and the rights of the public in access to those inventions.

• While the second is to promote, as a calculated act of Government policy, creativity and the circulation and application of its results and to boost fair trading which would contribute immensely to economic and social development.

In general, intellectual property law intents is for safeguarding creators and other producers of intellectual goods and services by granting them certain time-limited rights to control the use made of those productions. Those rights do not apply to the physical object in which the creation may be embodied but instead to the intellectual creation as such. Intellectual property is traditionally divided into two branches, “industrial property” and “copyright.”

Intellectual property relates to items of information or knowledge, which can be integrated in tangible objects at the same time in an inexhaustible number of copies at different locations anywhere in the world. The property is not in those copies but in the information or knowledge reflected in them. Intellectual property rights are also characterized by certain demerits, such as limited duration in the case of copyright and patents. The relevance of protecting intellectual property was first discerned in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883 and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1886. Both treaties are distributed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Intellectual property is generally divided into two main branches; this includes industrial property and copyright.

As regards copyright, it relates to artistic creations, such as poems, novels, music, paintings, and cinematographic works. For instance, in most European languages other than English, copyright is known as the exclusive author’s rights. Further, the expression copyright refers to the main act which, in respect of literary and artistic creations, may be made only by the author or with his authorization. That act is the making of copies of the literary or artistic work, such as a book, a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, motion picture or any other invention.

The second expression, author’s rights refers to the person who is the creator and original owner of the artistic work, its author, thus underlining the fact, distinguished in most laws, that the author has certain specific rights in his creation and invention, such as the right to prevent a distorted reproduction, which only he/she can exercise, whereas other rights, such as the right to make copies, can be exercised by other persons, for example, a publisher who has obtained a license to this effect from the original author.

1.2 World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a subsidiary of United Nations (UN) Organization. It is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN) system of organizations. The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization was signed and approved at Stockholm in 1967 and entered into force in 1970. Historically, the origin could be traced back to 1883 and 1886, with the adoption of the Paris Convention and the Berne Convention respectively. Both of these conventions allowed for the organization of international secretariats, and both were placed under the oversight of the Swiss Federal Government. The few officials who were needed to carry out the administration of the two conventions were situated in Berne, Switzerland.

Right from the start, there were two secretariats (one for industrial property and the other for copyright) for the administration of the two conventions, but in 1893 the two secretariats were amalgamated. The most recent name of the organization, before it became WIPO, was BIRPI, the acronym of the French-language version of the name: United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (in English). In 1960, BIRPI was shifted from Berne to Geneva.

At the 1967 diplomatic conference in Stockholm, when WIPO was founded, the administrative and final article of all the then existing multilateral treaties administered by BIRPI were revisited. They had to be revised because member States wished to assume the position of full governing body of the Organization (WIPO), thus getting rid of the supervisory authority of the Swiss Government, to offer WIPO the same status as all the other comparable intergovernmental organizations and to create way for it to become a specialized agency of the United Nations system of organizations.

Most of the intergovernmental organizations now referred to as specialized agencies did not exist before the Second World War. They were however created for the main and specific purpose of dealing with a particular subject or field of activity at the international level. However, some intergovernmental organizations, including the International Labour Office (ILO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) were in existence, and had been responsible for intergovernmental organizations in their respective fields of activity long before the development of specialized agencies of the United Nations system.

Similarly, way back before the United Nations was established, BIRPI was the responsible intergovernmental organization in the field of intellectual property. WIPO, the successor to BIRPI, became a specialized agency of the United Nations when an agreement was signed to that end between the United Nations and WIPO which came into effect on December 17, 1974.

A specialized agency, although it belongs to the family of United Nations organizations, retains its solitary. Each specialized agency has its own membership. All member States of the United Nations has the right to become members of all the specialized agencies, but in fact not all member States of the United Nations are members of all the specialized agencies. Each State therefore determines for itself whether it wants, or does not want, to become a member of any particular specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Each specialized agency has its own constitution, its own governing bodies, elected executive head, income, budget, its own staff, programs and other related activities as regards their constitutional duties. Machinery however exists for coordinating the activities of all the specialized agencies, among themselves and with the United Nations, but majorly, each agency remains creditworthy, under its own constitution, to its own governing bodies, which are the States members of the organization.

The arrangement between the United Nations and WIPO recognizes that WIPO is, subject to the competence of the United Nations and its organs, responsible for carrying out some responsibilities in accordance with its basic instrument and the treaties and agreements administered by it, among other things, for promoting originative intellectual activity and for facilitating the transfer of technology related to industrial property to developing countries in order to accelerate economic, social and cultural development.

The Convention organizing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), concluded in Stockholm on July 14, 1967 (Article 2(viii)) provides that intellectual property shall include and not limited to rights relating to:

i. Original Literary, artistic and scientific works,

ii. Performances of well performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts,

iii. Inventions and creations in all fields of human endeavour,

iv. Empirical breakthroughs,

v. Industrialised architecture,

vi. Trademarks and other designated marks,

vii. Protection and guidance against unfair challenger; and

viii. Finally, all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the aforementioned domains.

The areas mentioned as literary, artistic and scientific works can all be categorised under the copyright branch of intellectual property. The areas regarded as performances of performing artists, phonograms and broadcasts are always categorised and often called “related rights,” that is, rights related to copyright. Areas such as inventions, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks and commercial names and designations falls under the industrial property branch of intellectual property. The area which includes protection against unfair competition may under certain circumstances, also be viewed as also belonging to that arm, the more so as Article 1(2) of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Stockholm Act of 1967) (the “Paris Convention”) includes “the control of unfair competition” among the areas of “the protection of industrial property”; the said Convention expresses that “any act of competition that works against honest practices in industrial and commercial matters constitutes an act of unfair competition” (Article 10bis(2)).

The word “industrial property” covers inventions and industrial designs. Simply outlined, inventions are new solutions to evolving technical problems; while industrial designs are aesthetic creations defining the look of industrial products. In addition, industrial property includes trademarks, service marks, commercial names and designations, including other indications of source and appellations of origin, and protection against unfair and unnecessary competition. In this case, the aspect of intellectual creations, although existent, is less eminent, but what counts in the situation is that the object of industrial property typically comprises of signs transmitting information to consumers, in particular as regards products and services offered on the market, and that the protection is directed against unauthorized use of such signs which is most likely to mislead consumers, and as well as misleading practices in general.

The Geneva Treaty on the International Recording of Scientific Discoveries (1978) defines a scientific discovery as “the acknowledgement of phenomena, properties or laws of the material universe not as yet recognized and capable of verification” (Article 1(1) (i)). Inventions are new solutions to specific evolving technical problems. Such solutions must, on their own, trust on the properties or laws of the material universe (otherwise they could not be materially or “technically” applied), but those properties or laws need not be properties or laws “not yet recognized.” An invention puts to new technical use, the said features or laws, whether they are distinguished (“discovered”) at the same time with the making of the invention or whether they were already recognized (“discovered”) before, and independently of, the invention.

1.3 Role of WIPO

Again, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization devoted to ensuring that the rights of inventors and owners of intellectual property are protected universally and that inventors and authors are thus recognized and credited for their inventiveness. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO exists as a forum for its Member States to create and accord rules and practices to protect intellectual property rights. Most industrialized nations have protection systems that are very much older. Many new and developing countries, however, are now coming up with their patent, trademark and copyright laws and systems. With the rapid growth in globalization of trade during the last ten (10) years, WIPO had played a major role in assisting these new systems evolve through treaty negotiation, legal and technical assistance, and training in various forms, including in the area of enforcement of intellectual property rights. WIPO also gives international registration systems for patents, trademarks, appellations of origin and industrial designs. These greatly alter the process for simultaneously seeking intellectual property protection in a large number of countries. Instead of having to file national applications in many languages, these systems offer applicants to file a single application, in one language, and to pay a single application fee. The WIPO-administered systems of international protection include four different mechanisms of protection for specific industrial property rights:

i. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for the purpose of filing patent applications in multiple countries.

ii. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks for the purpose of trade and service marks.

iii. The Hague System for the International Deposit for the objective of Industrial Designs.

iv. Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin.

Anyone or entity applying for a patent or registering a trademark or design as the case may be, whether at the national or international level, often needs to determine whether their creation is new or is owned or claimed by someone else other than them. To make this determination, large amounts of information must be searched. Four WIPO treaties have created classification systems, which arrange information on different branches of industrial property into indexed, manageable structures for easy retrieval:

i. Strasbourg Agreement as regards the International Patent Classification;

ii. Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the main objective and purposes of the Registration of Marks;

iii. Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks; and finally;

iv. The Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also gives an Arbitration and Mediation Center, which offers services for the settlement of international commercial disputes and rivalry between private parties involving intellectual property. The subject matter of these proceedings includes and not limited to both contractual disputes (such as patent and software licenses, trademark coexistence agreements, and research and development agreements) and non-contractual disputes (such as patent infringement). The Center is also now recognized as the leading dispute resolution service provider for disputes arising out of the abusive registration and use of Internet domain names, already owned by another party.

1.4 Purpose of the study

The study aims at unravelling various forms of international responsibilities in the protection of intellectual properties of various member countries of the world. This study will also try to understand various forms of intellectual properties that could be protected. This could include; patent, copyright, structural design, etc. The study will therefore examine various forms of protection accruable by the intellectual properties in the international community.

1.5 Research Questions

1. What are the various forms of intellectual property in the international community at present?

2. What are the different treaties by World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) protecting intellectual properties?

3. What are the benefits accruable to owners of intellectual property as well as the international body from the existing treaties?

CHAPTER TWO

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

2.1 Historical background

In the beginning, BIRPI is the descriptor of Bureaux internationaux réunis pour la protection de la propriété intellectuelle, often translated into English by United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. BIRPI was the former name of the organization before the introduction of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). BIRPI started in 1883, and WIPO overrode the organization 87 years later, in 1970. The core of the intergovernmental organization or, at least, of the international secretariat that BIRPI later became, was the “International Bureau” founded by the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (hereinafter referred to as “the Paris Convention”). Bureau was the then stylish name for the secretariat of an international organization. Three years later, in 1886, another “International Bureau” was founded, this time by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (hereinafter regarded as “the Berne Convention”). The two International Bureaus were under “the high supervision” (in French, haute surveillance) of the Government of the Swiss Confederation which, in 1893, “united” them, that is, placed them under the same director and were also given the same staff.

The words “Intellectual Property” in BIRPI\’s title came into use much later, around early 1950s. Before that, “industrial property,” mainly covering the property in inventions (patents), trademarks and industrial designs, and “property in literary and artistic works” (or, in English, “intellectual property” or “copyright”) were the expressions were commonly used.

However, as from the 1950s “intellectual property” has been understood overtime as covering both industrial property and copyright. By the early nineteen-sixties, BIRPI had grown into an international body and secretariat, with a director and some 50 staff. Until around 1960, the main headquarters were in the capital of Switzerland, Berne. In the same year, the headquarters were moved to Geneva. A at that time, French was the only working language of the Secretariat. BIRPI “administered” not only the Paris Convention and the Berne Convention but also the “special agreements” (an expression used in the Paris Convention) resolved under the Paris Convention, “under” meaning that only States party to the Paris Convention are qualified to adhere to those agreements and that the latter may not conflict the provisions of the former. By 1967, there were five such special arrangements: the Madrid Agreement regarding the International Registration of Marks, concluded in 1891 (Also referred to as “the Madrid (Marks) Agreement”); the Madrid Agreement for the control of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods, also resolved in 1891 (Also referred to as “the Madrid (Indications of Source) Agreement”); the Hague Agreement regarding the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, concluded in 1925 (Also referred to as “the Hague Agreement”); the Nice Agreement regarding the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, concluded in 1957 (sometimes referred to as “the Nice Agreement”); and the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of designation of Origin and their International Registration, concluded in 1958 (also referred to as “the Lisbon Agreement”).

The name of cities in the titles of these and other treaties means the place where the diplomatic conference that assumed the treaty was held. “Treaty” is used in this essay as dealing with both “Conventions” and “Agreements.” Both the Paris and the Berne Conventions and four of the five Agreements (namely, the Madrid (Marks), Hague. Nice and Lisbon Agreements) provide that the countries party to them “institute a (Special) Union.” The term “Union” is also an expression that was fashionable when these treaties were resolved. It is intended to pass the idea that the States party to a treaty, together, form an entity which has legal personality and its own finances. It seems foreign today that none of the Unions had a governing body, that is, a forum in which the States members of the Union meet, discuss and make decision (by voting, if there is no unanimity). Instead, as already stated, they were under the supervision of the Swiss Government, which set up the director and staff of BIRPI.

The status of BIRPI and the Unions it administered was very alike to the then status of what are today the International Telecommunication Union and the Universal Postal Union, whose precursor organizations (“precursor” in the sense that BIRPI is the predecessor of WIPO) came into existence much years before BIRPI, namely in 1865 and 1874, respectively, with their headquarters also in Berne and also under the oversight of the Swiss Government. However, those two organizations went through the new development of their structure and became specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations much earlier than WIPO, namely in 1949 and 1948, respectively.

2.2 Stockholm Conference (1967) and the Entry into Force of the Stockholm Texts (1970-1975)

From review of this study, the Stockholm Conference had two main objectives. One was to set-up the structural and administrative rectification of the Paris and Berne Unions as well as of the then existing five special agreements under the Paris Union. The second main objective was the revision of a number of important provisions of the Berne Convention and one essential provision of the Paris Convention. All this was attained through the conclusion of a new treaty, namely the one establishing WIPO, and, as far as the existing treaties were pertained, through the revision of the Paris and Berne Conventions (which then had 77 and 58 contracting States, respectively) and the Madrid (Marks), Nice and Lisbon Agreements, and through the organization of an “Additional Act” and a “Complementary Act” to the Madrid (Indications of author) and the Hague Agreements, respectively. In other words, one completely new multilateral treaty had to be created and seven many-sided treaties had to be rectified, all at the same time. All these objectives were achieved in one and the same set of encounters at the Stockholm Conference. Seventy-three States, represented by 389 delegates, and 36 organizations, constituted by 93 observers, were involved. The Secretariat was rendered by BIRPI; it comprised of 14 persons. Thus, there were almost 500 participants. They met for five weeks (June 11 to July 14, 1967) in the then Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) building. The President of the Plenary was the Minister of Justice of Sweden, Herman Kling, but his operations were mainly practiced by Torwald Hesser, Justice of the Supreme Court of Sweden. The Stockholm Conference did most of the work through the five-man Main Committees. Three of them were concerned with provisions of substantive intellectual property law that resulted in the revision of the Berne and Paris Conventions:

• Main Committee I, concerned mainly with the general revision of such provisions in the Berne Convention (under the chairmanship of Eugen Ulmer, a law professor in the Federal Republic of -Germany);

• Main Committee II, pertained with the creation of a protocol that instituted possible exemptions to some of the sterner rules of the Berne Convention in grace of developing countries (under the chairmanship of Sher Singh, a Minister of State in the Ministry of Education of India); and

• Main Committee III, with the revision of those provisions of the Paris Convention that are concerned with the right of preference (under the chairmanship of Lucian Marinete, head of the Romanian State Office for Inventions).

Main Committee I worked on the revision of the then existing substantive provisions of the Berne Convention, most especially on the ownership of and rights in what were then called cinematographic/audio-visual works and on the degree to which the legislation of member countries might limit the (otherwise) exclusive right of reproduction.

Main Committee II, as already stated, offered an addition to the Berne Convention. The addition was called “Protocol Regarding Developing Countries.” The proposed Protocol was adopted and passed in Stockholm. However, soon after the Stockholm Conference, it was earned that the Protocol went too far and that it could never go into consequence. It was replaced by less far-reaching provisions, four years later, at a diplomatic conference of revision of the Berne Convention, held in Paris (1971) at the same time as the same provisions were lent also to the Universal Copyright Convention (administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The revision proposed by Main Committee III consisted in absorbing inventors\’ certificates to patents for the main purposes of the right of preferences provided for in Article 4 of the Paris Convention. Inventors\’ certificates were a form of right protection invented by the Soviet Union in the nineteen-twenties. With the adjournment of that country in 1991, the institution of inventors\’ certificates has stopped to exist. As far as the structural and administrative reforms were concerned, Main Committee IV dealt with the introduction of adjustments in the administrative and final clauses of the Paris and Berne Conventions and the five Special Agreements, whereas Main Committee V was concerned with the establishment of WIPO.

The founding of WIPO and the introduction of the said changes in the then existing seven treaties were complementary operations in the sense that neither of them could be realized without, and at the same time, realizing the other. Main Committees IV and V were led, respectively, by François Savignon, Director of the National Institute of Industrial Property of France, and Eugene M. Braderman, a high official of the Department of State of the United States of America. Each of those five Main Committees gave remarkably well-written reports. The authors of the reports were Svante Bergström (a professor of law in Sweden; Main Committee I), Vojtech Strnad (a legal advisor in the Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia; Main Committee II), Alfred Capel King (a barrister in Australia; Main Committee III), Valerio de Sanctis (an attorney-at-law in Italy; Main Committee IV) and Joseph Voyame (Director of the Swiss Federal Intellectual Property Office; Main Committee V). The Secretary General (The head) of the Stockholm Conference was Arpad Bogsch, then First Deputy Director of BIRPI. The structural and administrative reform, attained in Stockholm, had as its overall objective the creation of a situation in which the Member States, jointly and systematically, decide and control, or at least discuss, the development of international relations in the field of intellectual property. This new situation counterpoint with the situation that existed between 1883 (when the Paris Union was established) and 1970 (when the reforms made in Stockholm entered into effect): before 1970, Member States made decisions only ad hoc (mainly in diplomatic conferences of revision, which held, on the average, every 20 years), and the control of the secretariat\’s (that is, BIRPI\’s) functioning and finances was essentially displayed by one country, Switzerland, the country on whose territory the secretariat was located.

The structural and administrative reform had also the aim of altering the new organization, WIPO, to become a specialized agency of the United Nations system of organizations. This objective could not be earned at the Stockholm Conference itself because becoming a specialized agency is a matter that must be accorded upon between the United Nations and WIPO, and that could be achieved only once WIPO existed, namely once the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (referred to as “the WIPO Convention”) had amalgamated into force. This came into being, but for only three years after the Stockholm Conference. However, the draft of the WIPO Convention and the drafts for the revised article of the then existing seven treaties, presented by BIRPI to the Stockholm Conference, were proposed with the said aim in mind and with the firm decision to insist that the texts, as adopted, should make it possible that the future WIPO could also aim to the status of a specialized agency of the United Nations system of organizations.

These two objectives were realized through the texts adopted at the Stockholm Conference. They were realized in the following manner;

WIPO was founded. Its members are those States that bind to the WIPO Convention. Any State party to the Paris Convention or the Berne Convention, as well as any State member of the United Nations system (that is, the United Nations, any of its specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency or the International Court of Justice), can also be a part of WIPO. Therefore, was accomplished the double condition that

i. Any State related with BIRPI could become a member of WIPO even if it did not be a part to the United Nations system, and

ii. Any State or country belonging to the United Nations system could become a member of WIPO even if it was not related with BIRPI. The Secretary General of the Stockholm Conference was Arpad Bogsch, the then First Deputy Director of BIRPI.

The structural and administrative rectification, accomplished in Stockholm, had as its overall objective the creation of WIPO. WIPO has three Governing Bodies, which includes and not limited to the following: the Conference, the General Assembly and the Coordination Committee. The country members of the Conference are all the States that are members of WIPO. The members of the General Assembly are all the States that are not only members of WIPO but that are also members of the Paris and/or Berne Unions. This means that States that are members of WIPO but not members of the Paris or Berne Unions, as well as States that are members of the Paris and/or Berne Unions but not members of WIPO, cannot be a member of the General Assembly. In other words, the General Assembly is a body in which the members of at least one of the two “main” Unions (Paris and Berne) make the decisions, thereby giving them certain prevalence since some of the important decisions for example, the election of the Director General are reserved for the General Assembly.

The members of the Coordination Committee are automatically the members of the Executive Committee of the Paris Union and the Executive Committee of the Berne Union, with some ad-hoc members who belong to neither of the two Unions but are members of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Each of the Unions has an established and independent Assembly, that is, a body of which all the members of the Union (that cling at least to the administrative and final clauses of the Stockholm Act (1967) of the Paris Convention or the Paris Act (1971) of the Berne Convention) are members. At the time of the Stockholm Conference, there were six such Unions (Paris, Berne, Madrid (Marks), Hague, Nice and Lisbon). The two great ones in the Union, Paris and Berne also have, each, a separate Executive Committee, elected from among the members of each Union independent of the other. However, their number is one-fourth of the members of the Union concerned. Switzerland is an ex-officio member of both Executive Committees Hague and Berne. These bodies were founded in the texts adopted at Stockholm and started operating once the Stockholm texts or their relevant provisions had entered into force. On July 14, 1992, 131 States were members of WIPO; the WIPO Coordination Committee had a total of fifty-two (52) members, the Paris Executive Committee twenty-six (26) members, and the Berne Executive Committee twenty-three (23) members. The texts took over at Stockholm provided that the Conference and the General Assembly of WIPO and the Assemblies of the Unions would have to meet in frequent and regular session once every three years. This period, however, proved to be too long and, in any case, did not match to the practice of most of the other specialized agencies. The main governing bodies of those agencies normally meet every second year. WIPO and the Unions assumed the same frequency, through a rectification of the relevant treaties, in 1977 and 1980, and, since then, the General Assembly and the Conference of WIPO and the Assemblies of the Unions meet in ordinary session once every second year, in the years with an odd number.

The lower-ranking governing bodies, the Coordination and Executive Committees, meet in average session each year. The average sessions are usually held towards the end of September. In addition to average sessions, any of the ruling bodies may meet in extraordinary session. In the 1980s, on more and more occasions. The General Assembly of WIPO and the Assemblies of the various Unions met in extraordinary session at the yearly sessions of the Coordination Committee and the Executive Committees. This exercise resulted in a situation in which the said Committees have a rather limited or no role, since their main task, the preparation of the work of the (General) Assemblies becomes unnecessary if they meet (as they do in practice) mostly at the same time as and together with the (General) Assemblies and even the WIPO Conference. However, the WIPO Coordination Committee further has an important role in the electioneering activities in the Director General and in staff matters. Just one person proposed by the Coordination Committee may be elected Director General. The Staff Rules were however founded and are regularly corrected by the Coordination Committee.

The Deputy Directors General and any staff member of directorial rank (there were two of the former, and 21 of the latter, on July 14, 1992), although nominated by the Director General, are appointed after the approval of the Coordination Committee is given, as far as Deputy Directors General are concerned, and after the advice of the Coordination Committee is heard, as far as staff members of directorial rank are concerned, that is, for all practical purposes, their appointment always requires a meeting of the minds of the Coordination Committee and the Director General. The most essential function of the Assemblies consists in the founding of the biennial program and budget of each Union that has its own finances and expenditures and of WIPO as such. Afterwards, the Secretariat officially called the International Bureau of Intellectual Property but, in real life situation, simply called “the International Bureau (of WIPO)” is one and the same for all the Unions (in 1992 there were 12, but two of them (the Lisbon and the Budapest Unions) had no budget), the organization of the budgets is a very special and important task. The budgets of those Unions must be distinguished because each Union has its own members and the identity of the member States differs from one Union to the other. It is because States members of a given Union want, without interference by States not members of that Union, to resolve the program and budget of the said Union, that the programs and the finances of the various Unions have to be separated from each other but, at the same time, have to be organized with each other. In respect of treaties concluded before the Stockholm Conference, the Swiss Confederation had the task of repository; according to the texts of the Stockholm Conference (and later texts), this task belongs to the Director General of WIPO. This change was introduced to adjust to the practice of the specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations.

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/essays/law/property-intellectual-property-rights/


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