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Intellectual Property Rights are those rights which are provided for the creative creation of the mind. Generally, it gives an exclusive right over the use of their creation for a specified time limit.[1]Intellectual Property Laws is one of the emerging fields across the globe. It is crucial to protect the Intellectual Property for future economic growth. The significance of intangible assets is increasing worldwide leading to companies managing their Intellectual Property in order to achieve greater market share, sustainable business and reaching organizational goals.

In the 19th century, there was heterogeneity with respect to patent and other Intellectual Property Rights. The Paris Convention was the foremost steps to take this development forward.



Importance Of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights is essential for both industries or businesses and consumers. Industries and businesses generate revenue in their ventures by protecting their intellectual property whereas, the consumers believe in ensuring that the products they are purchasing and services they are availing are safe, original and guaranteed.


The relevance of IPR can be understood from the following benefits[2]:

1.      It drives economic growth.

2.      It is an industry which further generates job opportunities.

3.      It encourages innovation by recognizing the efforts.

4.      It provides competitive edge in the market.

Paris Convention

The Paris Convention was signed in France, Paris in 1883for the Protection of Industrial Property.This was one of the first Intellectual Property Treaties.It mainly related to the industrial property with a wide scope which involved trademarks, patents, industrial designs, trade names, geographical indications and to curb unfair competition prevailing in the market.


The Paris Convention of 1883 was revised further at Brussels (1900), Washington (1911), The Hague (1925), London (1934), Lisbon (1958), Stockholm (1967). The same was again revised in 1979.  During the initial days of signing of convention, there were a very few countries, about 11, which had come together. There were around 173 nation states who were party to the Convention. During the beginning of 20th Century, India had no patent law.


This convention facilitated the process for protection for various types of industrial property with respect to the nations being signatories to this convention in countries that are signatories to this convention.


History of the Paris Convention

The convention provided for thegrant of “temporary protection to patentable inventions, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks, in respect of goods exhibited at official or officially recognized international exhibitions held in the territory of any of them”.[3]This provision was incorporated from the Great Exhibition of 1851.


Overview of the Paris Convention

The provisions as contained in the Convention can be diversified into the followingfeatures:


1.      National Treatment

The Convention provides that with respect to the protection of industrial property, ‘same protection’ must be granted by Contracting state to its own nationals. Further, it also grants national treatment to nationals of non-contracting state, provided, if they are domiciled or they have an effective commercial or industrial establishment.


2.      Right to Priority

     The Convention provides that in case of patents, the ‘right of priority’ with respect to patents, industrial designs, marks etc. In a convention nation like India, the first application’s date for filing is construed to be the date of priority in the convention nations, provided that the protection application is filed between six to twelve months from filing the initial applications. The major benefit is with respect to the protection in various nations. There is no requirement of presenting the application ad-hoc in numerous countries. Rather, a period of buffer time of few months is provided so as to decide about the countries. It is extremely relevant since the protection of intellectual property is territorial in nature in the widest sense. The applicants may choose to 

3.      Common Rules

There are certain common rules which the countries who are parties to the Convention are required to follow[4]:

(i)                 Independence with respect to patents: 

In various states who are contracting, the same inventions might be granted with patents which would be independent in nature. The grant of patent in one particular state does not bind any other state. The other state may decide to accept, or reject, or partially accept the same. 

(ii)               Compulsory license for patents: 

There are certain limitations or restrictions when it comes to compulsory licenses and their legislative measures. For instance, there is a time limitation with respect to filing a request for obtaining compulsory licenses.

(iii)             Marks:

Any application of national belonging to a contracting state, shall not be refused specially on grounds like there has been no effect in origin country with respect to either filing or registration or even renewal.

(iv)             Industrial Designs: 

Every contracting state is required to protect the industrial designs.

(v)               Trade Names: 

With every contracting nation, the protection towards trade names should only be granted if there is no requirement to file or register.

(vi)             Source- Indication: 

Each contracting State must take certain measures against the direct or even indirect usage of any indication which is false in nature. 

(vii)           Unfair Competition: 

Every contracting State is mandatorily required to protect against rising unfair competition.



Initially, it was difficult to protect the industrial property since the International Conventions were not in place. There was major diversification in the laws. In order to prevent a publication of intellectual property in one particular nation leading to destruction of the novelty in other countries, patent applications were filed in all the countries at the same time. These issues formed the objectives of the Convention.

The technological advancement and rise in trends of global trade made the countries realize the need for harmonized system of protection of intellectual property.

It was observed that the Paris Convention was one of the initial points of globalization in the field of Intellectual Property Laws.  Prior to 1883, there was major diversification in patent laws. There was heterogeneity in the said domain. In the convention 0f 1883, if its closely observed, it could be noticed that the negotiations were majorly based on the rivalry between the German and French model. The convention had a non-discriminatory approach towards the countries.

The concept of unfair competition was dealt with least controversial level. There was still so much to explore in the arena of national laws pertaining to intellectual property. Earlier, there were many bilateral agreements, however, the countries who signed these agreements later became the members of this convention since it either conferred similar or more rights. WIPO administers the Paris Convention. All the states are eligible to submit their ratification or accession to the WIPO (Director General). It is still in force today.

The Paris Convention does not mandate or lays down for any particular procedures to be followed. This makes space for the member states to develop their approach towards the maintenance requirements.



[1]What are Intellectual Property Rights? World Trade Organization. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/intel1_e.htm

[2]U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center. (2009, December 28). Why are Intellectual Property Rights important. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.theglobalipcenter.com/why-are-intellectual-property-rights-important/

[3]World Intellectual Property organisation. Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. https://wipolex.wipo.int/en/text/288514

[4]R.K. Dewan & Co. Paris Convention For The Protection Of Industrial Property. https://www.rkdewan.com/treatiesdetails.php?pid=22

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