International conventions, agreements and treaties extended to Guernsey
Date of Accession
The Berne Convention offers signatory countries minimum standards of copyright protection. This includes literary, dramatic, musical artistic works, films, broadcasts and typographical arrangements.
Patents, Trademarks and design rights
The Paris Convention applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition. The substantive provisions of the Convention fall into three main categories: national treatment, right of priority, common rules.
The Marrakesh Treaty makes the production and international transfer of specially-adapted books for people with blindness or visual impairments easier. It establishes a set of limitations and exceptions to traditional copyright law.
The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty designed to simplify the international trademark registration process. Using this process, registrants are able to complete a single application, in their home language, that can then be applied to over 90 member countries.
Following extension, it is possible to (i) file an international trademark application in Guernsey, as an office of origin, and (ii) designate Guernsey as a jurisdiction for registration (separate from the UK).
The Rome Convention secures protection in performances for performers, in phonograms for producers of phonograms and in broadcasts for broadcasting organisations.
Copyright, trademarks, patents and designs
TRIPS is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization ("WTO"). It establishes minimum standards for the regulation, by national governments, of different forms of intellectual property as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations.
Specifically, TRIPS requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering authors and other copyright holders, as well as holders of related rights, namely performers, sound recording producers and broadcasting organisations; geographical indications; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade names and undisclosed or confidential information. TRIPS also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.
The Budapest Treaty concerns a specific topic in the international patent process: microorganisms. All states party to the Treaty are obliged to recognise microorganisms deposited as a part of the patent procedure, irrespective of where the depository authority is located. In practice this means that the requirement to submit microorganisms to each and every national authority in which patent protection is sought no longer exists.
Persons wishing to submit an application, under the Budapest Treaty, or to request authorisation of the release of a sample of biological material deposited with a patent, should file the relevant form with the UK IPO.
WCT is a special agreement under the Berne Convention, which deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment. In addition to the rights recognised by the Berne Convention, they are granted certain economic rights. The Treaty also deals with two subject matters to be protected by copyright: (i) computer programs, whatever the mode or form of their expression; and (ii) compilations of data or other material (databases).
WPPT deals with the rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in the digital environment: (i) performers (actors, singers, musicians, etc.); and (ii) producers of phonograms (persons or legal entities that take the initiative and have the responsibility for the fixation of sounds).
The Hague Agreement governs the international registration of industrial designs. The Agreement effectively establishes an international system - the Hague System - that allows industrial designs to be protected in multiple countries or regions with minimal formalities.
Hague applications filed designating the UK will also include Guernsey. This means that if a design registration is subsequently granted for any of these applications in the UK, protection will automatically be afforded in Guernsey without any need for applicants to re-register their design there.
The Nice Agreement establishes a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks (the Nice Classification). The trademark offices of Contracting States must indicate, in official documents and publications in connection with each registration, the numbers of the classes of the Classification to which the goods or services for which the mark is registered belong.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries.
PCT application designating the UK will also include Guernsey. This means that if a patent is subsequently granted for any of these applications in the UK, protection will automatically be afforded in Guernsey without any need for applicants to re-register their UK patent. This change also means that residents and businesses located in Guernsey can file new PCT applications with the UK Intellectual Property Office, the European Patent Office, or direct with the International Bureau.
Notification of extension expected to be deposited in Q4 2022
The Signapore Treaty seeks to create a modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonisation of administrative trademark registration procedures. Building on the Trademark Law Treaty of 1994, the Singapore Treaty has a wider scope of application and addresses more recent developments in the field of communication technologies.
Notification of extension expected to be deposited in Q4 2022
The TLT aims to standardize and streamline national and regional trademark registration procedures. This is achieved through the simplification and harmonization of certain features of those procedures, thus making trademark applications and the administration of trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions less complex and more predictable.