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Intellectual property law in the Isle of Man is underpinned, as it is in the United Kingdom and across the developed world, by international treaties, some of which have their roots in agreements first made in the 19th century.

The major treaties underpinning the intellectual property regime on the Isle of Man are as follows:

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property

The Paris Convention was originally signed in 1883 and has been amended several times since. It applies to patents, marks, industrial designs, utility models and trade names. The main requirements of the Convention are that ―

  • a contracting State must grant the same protection to nationals of the other contracting States as it grants to its own nationals
  • if an application is filed in one contracting State, the application has priority from the same time in any other contracting State provided he files an application within 12 months in the latter State

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

The Berne Convention was first agreed in 1886, and imposes minimum standards of protection to be extended by each contracting country to the nationals of all other contracting countries. It also stipulates that copyright must not depend on registration. Recent amendments confer "moral rights" on the author of a work, eg. the right to be identified as author.

The Paris Revision (1971) of the Convention was extended to the Isle of Man in 1996.

Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations

The Rome Convention (1961) protects the rights of performers (actors, singers and musicians) in the broadcast and communication of their work to the public without their consent; the rights of music producers to authorise the reproduction of their music; and the rights of broadcasters to authorise the re-broadcasting and reproduction of their broadcasts.

The Convention was extended to the Isle of Man in 1999.

TRIPS Agreement

The TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement was made as part of the discussions that led to the creation of the World Trade Organisation on 1st January 1995, and extended and raised the standard of the rights provided for by the Paris and Berne Conventions. The areas covered by TRIPS include: copyright and related rights; trade marks; patents; industrial designs; and geographical indications.

In addition there are a number of other treaties and agreements that provide for one international registration being made by applicants, and classification systems for the different categories of intellectual property.

The TRIPS Agreement extends to the Isle of Man through the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and took effect from 1997.

Patent Co-operation Treaty

The Patent Co-operation Treaty (1970) allows patent protection to be sought simultaneously in countries which are also signed up to the Treaty.

The Treaty was extended to the Isle of Man in 1983.

Madrid Protocol

The Madrid Protocol (1989) concerns trade marks and is similar to the Patent Co‑operation Treaty in that it allows a single trade mark application to be made to many countries internationally at the same time.

The Protocol was extended to the Isle of Man in 1995.

Page last updated: 6 June 2016

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