Notifications under provisions of the Rome
and Berne convention back to top
Article 6ter of the Paris Convention (1967) (browse,
more information) deals
with the protection of state emblems, official hallmarks and the
abbreviations and emblems of intergovernmental organizations against the
registration or use as trademarks.
Article 6ter applies in the WTO through
Article 2.1 of the TRIPS
Agreement and lays down procedures for members (and intergovernmental
organizations) to inform other members about the emblems that they wish
to prevent from being registered or used as trademarks. The procedures
also deal with how to object to protection for the emblems.
The application of the provisions of Article 6ter for the purposes of
the TRIPS Agreement is addressed in Article 3 of the
WIPO-WTO cooperation agreement and in the Decision of the TRIPS
Council of 11 December 1995 (document IP/C/7: download
Accordingly, the International Bureau of WIPO administers the
communication procedures under Article 6ter for the purposes of the
TRIPS Agreement in accordance with the procedures applicable under
Article 6ter of the Paris Convention (1967).
Main features of the arrangement back to top
After the TRIPS Agreement entered into force, notifications made under
Article 6ter of the Paris Convention became effective under the
agreement for all WTO members whether they were parties to the Paris
Convention or not. The actual date for each country depended on the
transition periods — originally one year from 1995 for developed
countries, five years for developing countries in general, and 11 years
for the least-developed (now extended until 2013).
This covers all past as well as future notifications. In January 1996,
the WIPO Secretariat informed WTO members that were not parties to the
Paris Convention about the emblems that it had received under Article
6ter. Since January 1996, when a country that is not a party to the
Paris Convention has joined the WTO, it has also received a set of the
emblems that have been submitted by that time to the WIPO Secretariat.
Until recently, when a country submitted a sign for protection each sign
was submitted individually and on paper. Modern technology has allowed
this to be done electronically. Since 2009 the communications have been
half-yearly using WIPO’s
“6ter Express” database.
Available in the 6ter Express database are all state emblems of WTO
members and of parties to the Paris Convention, and emblems of
international intergovernmental organizations, which benefit from the
application of Article 6ter.
By 2009, the database contained some 2,500 individual records, fully
accessible and searchable online. Updated versions of the database are
also being made available on CD-ROM, and can be ordered from
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