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Paris Convention For Protection Of Industrial Property (1883)

At Vienna International exhibition of inventions has been held in 1873. Due to Participation was hampered by the fact that in many of the foreign visitors, they were not willing to exhibit their inventions at that exhibition in view of the inadequate of the legal protection offered to the exhibited inventions. So, a conference was convened in Paris in 1883. Its main objective is for protecting the industrial property by establishing of the union. The provisions of the convention broadly fall in to three main categories.

The Paris convention is for the protection of the industrial property which was signed in Paris, France on 20 March 1883. It is one of the first intellectual property treaties and it's been established for the union for the protection of industrial property. Currently, the convention is still in force.

The Paris convention, concluded in 1883, was revised at Brussels in 1990, at Washington In 1911, at The Hague in 1925, at London in 1934, at Lisbon in 1958 and at stock in 1967, and was amendment in 1979. It is formed for the protection of industrial property. It applies in the widest sense to the industrial property, including industrial designs, patents, trademarks, and geographical indications.

Scope of industrial property is all the members countries applies to patents, utility models, trade names, service marks, indications of source or appellations of origin, and the repression of unfair competition. Industrial property in the broadest sense shall be understood and shall apply not only to industry and commerce proper, but likewise to extractive industries and agriculture and to all manufactures or natural products for example waters, beer, flowers, wines, grain, tobacco leaf, fruit, mineral and flour. Patents also includes various kinds of industrial patents which are recognized by the laws of the countries of the union, such as patents of improvement, patents of importation, certificates of addition and patents etc.

In the widest sense of industrial property the Paris convention applies, including industrial designs, trademarks, patents, by the laws of some countries in a kind of small � scale patent utility models which is provided, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition.

There are some principal features of the Paris convention which are:

  • The total number of nation states party to the convention is 177.
  • Protection against the unfair competition and false indications.
  • Parallel importation;
  • Independence of parties;
  • Right of priority;
  • National treatment

The substances of provisions of the convention are fall in to three main categories which are National treatment, Priority right, common rules contents.

National treatment:

As regards of the protection of industrial property, the convention provides that, each of the contracting state must grant the same protection to nationals of other contracting states that it grants to its own nationals. Under the convention, Nationals of non-contracting states are also entitled to national treatment, if they are domiciled or have an effective and real industrial or commercial establishment in a contracting state.

In simple words, those who are a member to the convention with respect to the application, if it calls for the application of same rules to the nationals of all the states  and granting of industrial property rights, provided they hold an establishment in that respective state. It means that regarding protection of industrial property, each country to the convention must grant the same protection to nationals of the other member countries as it grant the same protection to nationals of the other member countries as it grant to its own nationals. (No discrimination) (Article 2 & 3 of the convention)

Right to priority:

In right to property, the convention provides it in case of patents and utility models where they exist and industrial designs and marks. If an industrial property right is filed by a given applicant in one of the member countries then the same applicant or his successor in title may file it in other member countries in a time period (6 � 12 months) and it will be considered as filed on the same date as the first country.

In right to priority they will have the priority over those applications which were filed by others during the period of time for the same industrial design and utility model and mark and invention. In this right its main meaning is that when there will be someone on the basis of a regular first application is filed in one of the contracting state then the application may or within certain period of time like 6 months for industrial designs and marks and 12 months for patents and utility, can apply for protection in any of the other contracting states. These subsequent applications will be regarded as if they had been filed on the same day as the first application.

Moreover, these subsequent applications are being based on the first application, will not be affected by any event that takes place in the interval, such as incorporating an industrial design, or the sale of articles bearing a mark or the publication of an invention. 

One of the great practical advantages of this provision is that applicants seeking protection in several countries are not required to present all of their applications at the same time but have 6 or 12 months to decide in which countries they wish to seek protection and to organize with due care the steps necessary for securing protection.

Independent of patents: the union lays down some common rules which all member states are required to follows:

In different contracting states for the same invention are independent of each other towards patents granted. The granting of a patent in one contracting state does not oblige other contracting states to grant a patent; terminated or annulled in any contracting state on the ground that it has been refused or patent cannot be refused or annulled or has terminated in any other contracting state. As such in the patent, the inventor also has the right to be named.

The grant of a patent may not be invalidated and patent may not be refused, of a product obtained by means of the patented process on the ground that the sale of the patented product, or is subject to restrictions or limitations resulting from the domestic law. If one country gives a patent or rejects a patent it does not mean that the patent will be accepted or rejected by the other country, any country has no influence over the fate of a patent in other country.

There are common rules also which are applying to collective marks such as indication of source, industrial designs, trade names, and unfair completion. This convention is mainly for the protection of industrial property. It is an interesting event to delve into and also if anyone is interested in one day filing for patents in other countries boundaries besides the one they can currently live in.

In worldwide scenario, companies have their reputations and they should particularly look into law to make sure about everything is handled correctly. In 1883, the authority is clear based on the fact that was created and inventors are granted international protections, due to that this convention was brought together and is still in effect to this day.

  1. Summary of the Paris Convention- WIPO, 6 December 2014.
  2. Guide to the Application of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property As Revised at Stockholm in 1967 (PDF), United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI), 28 December 2016.
  3. Contracting Parties > Paris Convention (Total Contracting Parties: 177)", World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 25 January 2019.
  4. Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention", WIPO, Retrieved 30 December 2012.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Payal Mazumdar
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