Paris Convention – Definition

Cite this article as:"Paris Convention – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 31, 2019, last accessed October 21, 2020,

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Paris Convention Definition

The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, one of the 1st intellectual property treaties, was signed on 20th March 1883 in Paris, France. It set up a union for industrial property protection. This convention is still operative presently. Its substantive provisions have 3 major types, i.e. common rules, priority right and national treatment.

A Little More on What is the Paris Convention

The 2nd and 3rd article of this treaty states that natural and juristic individuals who are either domiciled in or national of a state party to the Paris convention will enjoy the benefits, their corresponding laws provide to nationals in all other Union countries regarding the industrial property protection.

In simple words, when a person submits an application for a trademark or a patent in a foreign member country of the Union, this application gets the same treatment as a national of this country. Moreover, if he is granted the intellectual property right (for example, an individual gets ownership of a registered trademark or a patent), the owner avails himself of the same legal remedy against any violation and protection as a national owner benefits from.

Priority right

Other names of Paris Convention are Convention Priority Right, Union Priority Right and Paris Convention Priority Right. It was also set up by the 4th article of Paris Convention. It is considered as a cornerstone of the Paris Convention. It states that an applicant belonging to a contracting state will have a right of using its 1st filing date (in any contracting state) being an effective filing date in some other contracting state, on the condition that the applicant or his heir files a subsequent application within six months for trademarks and industrial designs or twelve months for utility and parents mod from the 1st filing.

Temporary protection for goods shown at some international exhibitions

The Paris Convention Article 11(1) demands that the Countries of the Union provide temporary protection to trademarks, patentable inventions, industrial designs and utility models, concerning goods exhibited at officially recognized or official global exhibitions held in any of the territories.

If a person applies for a trademark registration or a patent during a temporary protection period, then he will count the application’s Priority date from the date when he was introduced to the goods at the exhibition instead of the date when he filed the application, in case the temporary protection mentioned in article 11(1) is implemented in such a way in national law. However, there are other sources for the Countries of the Union to apply in the national law temporary protection granted for the Paris Convention, article 11.

It may also be, for instance, in case of exhibited inventions that are patentable, to provide temporary protection by other sources, namely, by suggesting that, during a specific period, this exhibition does not harm the invention novelty and that the individual, who is exhibiting the invention, will also be given protection against his invention usurpation by 3rd parties. Another chance of protection still contains the recognition of a prior use right supporting the exhibitor as against present rights received by 3rd parties.

Mutual independence of trademarks and patents in several Countries of the Union.

As per articles 4bis and 6 (for trademarks and patent respectively), for overseas, the member state will determine the application for trademark registration or a patent according to national law and not decided by the country of origin or other states. Trademark registrations and patent applications are independent among the countries of the contract.

History of the Paris Convention

Eleven countries signed the Paris Convention in 1983 after they attended a diplomatic conference in 1880 in Paris. Those countries are Brazil, Guatemala, Netherlands, Serbia, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and EI Salvador. Later, 3 countries Serbia, EI Salvador and Guatemala denounced and applied the Convention again through accession.

On 14th December 1900, the treaty was reviewed at Brussels, Belgium. On 2nd June 1911, it was revised at The Hague, Netherlands. Again on 6th November 1925, it was reviewed at London, United Kingdom. At Lisbon, Portugal on 2nd June 1934, at Stockholm, Portugal on 31st October 1958, on 14th July 1967 at Sweden and finally amended on 28th September 1979.

Contracting parties

Main article: Parties list to the Paris Convention to protect the industrial property.

Paris Convention members (in green)

As of February 2017, the Paris Convention consists of one hundred and seventy-seven member countries of the contract. It shows that this Convention is the most widely adopted contract around the world.

A noticeable thing is that Burma and Taiwan (China) are not member countries of the Paris Convention.

References for Paris Convention

Academic Research on Paris Convention

The United States proposal for a GATT agreement on intellectual property and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Kunz-Hallstein, H. P. (1989). Vand. J. Transnat’l L., 22, 265. This paper not only describes the Paris Convention for industrial property protection but also explains the proposal of the US for the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) on intellectual property.

1992 Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic: A Critical Analysis, Hey, E., IJIstra, T., & Nollkaemper, A. (1993). Int’l J. Marine & Coastal L., 8, 1. This study highlights the important points of the Paris Convention 1992 which was passed to protect the Marine environment of the country North East Atlantic. The authors present a critical analysis of the main articles of this Convention.

Intellectual Property as a Trade Issue: From the Paris Convention to GATT, Sell, S. K. (1989). Legal Stud. F., 13, 407. The GATT is an agreement for the protection of intellectual property rights. Its negotiations since 1987 deeply influence the technological shift of the developing countries. This research evaluates the implications of the Uruguay Round, especially the parents’ role because they have an impact on the development of 3rd world countries. The authors discuss the implications of the proposed GATT agreement by the developed countries.

From Paris Convention to TRIPS: A Brief History, Bravo, G. (2001). J. Contemp. Legal Issues, 12, 445. This paper states the main articles of the Paris Convention and its brief history to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Revision of the Paris Convention: A Realignment of Private and Public Interests in the International Patent System, Haar, P. S. (1982). Brook. J. Int’l L., 8, 77. In this paper, the author provides details of all the revised Paris Conventions and the amendments made from time to time. They also investigate How the public and private interests were re-aligned in the International Patent System.

Patents, the Paris convention and less developed countries, Katz, J. M. (1973). (No. 190). Center Discussion Paper. This is extensive research on the Paris Convention, its critics and the important information related to the protection of patents and trademarks in the developing countries.

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property-A View of the Proposed Revisions, Schuyler, W. E. (1982). Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property-A View of the Proposed Revisions. NCJ Int’l L. & Com. Reg., 8, 155. In this study, the author reviews the Paris Convention and its all proposed revisions made from time to time to protect the industrial property rights.

… Two Conventions on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage: the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention, von Busekist, O. (2006). Nuclear Law Bulletin, 1(989), 1. This research was carried out to analyse 2 conventions related to civil liability regarding nuclear damage. The first one is the Joint Protocol elaborating the Vienna Convention application and the second one is the Paris Convention.

Dealing with contaminated dredged materials with reference to the Oslo Convention 1972 and the New Paris Convention 1992, Van Der Burgt, C. (1994). Marine pollution bulletin, 29(6-12), 296-299. To apply the Convention uniformly, London Dumping Convention, also known as the Oslo Convention has presented a set of guidelines on dredged material. It suggests that many features have to be kept in mind while selecting a website for marine disposal, e.g. commercial fishing, cultural interests, military interests, beach recreation and cables. The authors suggest that for the environmental perspectives of dredging, PIANC like associations should strive for economic and protective navigation.

The power of the well-known trademark: courts should consider Article 6BIS of the Paris Convention an integrated part of Section 44 of the Lanham Act, Barker, B. (2006). Wash. L. Rev., 81, 363. Many important principles have been outlined in the Paris Convention related to the trademarks and patent rights. However, it is objected on the ground that it is not self-executing. In 1946, the Lanham Act was passed, which states that the trademark owners will have substantial rights in the federal courts. The authors explain its legislative history, its main focus and judicial matters.

The United States Position on Revising the Paris Convention: Quid Pro Quo or Denunciation, Loughran, R. A. (1981). Fordham Int’l LJ, 5, 411. This article examines the objective and history of the Paris Convention and all the revised articles. It also investigates the conflict in the developing and the developed countries about its revisions. Besides, it evaluates when the Paris Convention was denounced and which countries did so. Further, its legal validity and novelty has been discussed. The authors suggest that the US needs to play its role in revising the Paris Convention as per today’s requirements.

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