Faculty also reviewed significant IPR-related
laws and treaties. The most-discussed treaties are summarized here.
- Paris Convention (1883): Makes it easier
to file for a patent in multiple countries. Before the Paris Convention,
one would have to file (and pay for) applications in all desired countries
at once. Paris Convention creates a grace period of almost one year
during which the application can be filed in other countries, using
the filing date established at the time of the first application.
The Paris Convention has approximately 110 members.
- Bern Convention (1886): The Bern Convention
lays the groundwork for the international protection of literary and
artistic works. The Convention allows a foreign author to invoke the
rights applicable to the country where his/her work is performed.
The treaty has about 159 member states.
- PCT (1970): The Patent Cooperation Treaty
(PCT) permits an inventor to file what is called a PCT patent application.
The PCT streamlines patent applications across several countries at
once, and extends the grace period awarded under the Paris Convention
to 20 or even 30 months. About 88 countries adhere to the PCT.
- UPOV (1961, 1978, 1991): The UPOV treaty
for the protection of new plant varieties was originally signed in
1961, and was later revised in 1978 and again in 1991, with not all
members signing each revision. There are currently 45 states that
are members of at least one of the UPOV treaties.
- TRIPS (1995): The TRIPS Agreement is
the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property,
covering copyright and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications
including appellations of origin, industrial designs, patents including
the protection of new varieties of plants, layout-designs of integrated
circuits, and undisclosed information including trade secrets and