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Advanced Introduction to International Intellectual Property

Susy Frankel and Daniel J. Gervais

This authoritative introduction provides a detailed overview of the complexities of the international intellectual property regime and the ways in which it operates. The authors cover the key international institutions and agreements that regulate and inform intellectual property at an international level such as the TRIPS Agreement, WIPO, WTO, the Paris Convention and the Berne Convention.
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2 The major instruments of international intellectual property

Susy Frankel and Daniel J. Gervais


Other than the TRIPS Agreement (administered by the WTO), there are 15 multilateral instruments administered by WIPO currently in force that WIPO considers as “intellectual property protection” instruments, as opposed to those it refers to as “global protection systems” instruments (basically those providing for international registration at WIPO) and those it categorizes as “classification” instruments (providing an information organizing function allowing applications to be indexed and more easily retrieved).

The texts of all those treaties are all available on the WIPO website. To see if a country is party to one or more of them consult the list on the WIPO website, which is updated regularly.27

One should add to this a treaty administered at WIPO but technically by a separate secretariat, namely the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants.

We do not review each one of these agreements in detail, but it is important to bear in mind that in addition to the three major instruments discussed above (the Berne and Paris Conventions and the TRIPS Agreement), there are several others, smaller in scope, which may affect the analysis of any particular situation. We review the “big three”, however, and provide an indication of the role of other instruments in context.

The Paris and Berne Conventions, which were initially negotiated in the 1880s and last revised on substance in the 1960s,29 form the normative backbone of the international intellectual property system pre-TRIPS. The TRIPS Agreement changed...

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