Proposals on inclusions of the new articles in the Industrial design (ID) treaty in WIPO meeting
Industrial design (ID) is a professional service of making and developing a product that enhances the usefulness, look and standards of the products. A perfect design can provide the various benefits to the manufacturers and the customers. An intensive research is required to fulfill the commitments of the manufacturers. The main feature of the industrial design is that it is not only functional, it should also be aesthetic. As the industrial design is a creative commercial product, it has a market value. Therefore, the creation should be protected, so that no other than the creator of design can make profit from the design.
On 06th November 1925, International community took the first step for International registration of industrial designs in Hague, Netherlands. The participating countries signed an agreement mentioning the definition of the industrial design, the reason of protection and procedure of registration. The convention was organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Director General of WIPO became the depository of the agreement. The agreement came into operation from 1934. The 1925 agreement have been revised several times according to the need of the hour. Recently the European Union and African group submitted some proposals to amend the Industrial designs act.
The African group proposed to include four clauses in the treaty to provide technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries and least developed countries (LDC) in the line of the WIPO secretariat document. African countries mentioned that fees should be reduced to 50% in the case of developing countries and the fees should be completely waived in the case of least developed countries where the fees are charged for registration. The applicants from those countries will be benefited financially from the reduction or waiving of the fees. The second proposed inclusion was to provide the technical assistance to facilitate the full advantage of the provisions of the industrial design treaty. Third proposal was to grant financial assistance to at least one member of the developing countries and LDC for participating in the ordinary and extraordinary session of WTO. The last proposal was that the member states should exchange the information about the registered designs among the members to protect the misappropriations of traditional designs and simplifying substantive examination of industrial designs.
On the other hand, European Union expressed a different view on the African proposal. They said that they do not favor the inclusion of African articles in the treaty. In a word, they want the proposals should be kept in non-binding status. Their argument was that the financial and technical assistance depends on the capacity of the developed nations.
The delegates who attend the Standing Committee meeting on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) from 10-14th December discussed the proposals. They could not make any decision on the proposal. According to a press source, the participants have only discussed informally about the impact on the proposals. In the next meeting, they will elaborately explore all the aspects of the proposals.
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By Aurobinda Panda
Founder & C.E.O of Lex Protector International Law Office
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