On 17 March 2014, the European Union and its Member States issued the following clarion call to the Thirty-First Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) urging the committee to “make a clear and unambiguous recommendation to convene a diplomatic conference to the upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly” for a Design Law Formalities Treaty.
In the view of the EU, the proposed Treaty would confer “great advantages…through the alignment and simplification of design registration formalities for all users, in particular for SMEs, the driving force for economic growth for developed and developing countries alike.”
Reproduced below is the opening statement made by the EU.
The European Union and its Member States, would like to congratulate you on your re-election, and express our full support for your efforts to successfully conclude work on the draft Design Law Formalities Treaty, paving the way for a decision to convene a diplomatic conference towards the end of 2014. This goal should be the priority outcome for this meeting.
We would also wish to thank the WIPO Secretariat for its excellent preparatory work for this meeting, in particular with regard to working documents SCT/31/2 and SCT/31/3 on industrial design law and practice – draft articles and draft regulations.
The European Union and its Member States would like to emphasize the great advantages to be gained through the alignment and simplification of design registration formalities for all users, in particular for SMEs, the driving force for economic growth for developed and developing countries alike. The work of the SCT over the past several years has now borne fruit, and a move to the next stage can no longer be reasonably delayed.
As we have stated during the last several sessions of this Committee, it is our belief that the draft Articles and Regulations are technically mature, representing a significant step towards approximating and simplifying industrial design formalities and procedures. They are appropriate to establish a framework that is flexible and dynamic, able to produce design law capable of keeping up with future technological, socio-economic and cultural changes. We therefore call upon all delegations to act in good faith and characterize the work of the Committee as ready to be submitted to a diplomatic conference.
We need to conclude our work now. SCT 31 must make a clear and unambiguous recommendation to convene a diplomatic conference to the upcoming Extraordinary General Assembly in May. We cannot afford further fruitless discussions on this matter at General Assembly. This is our clear window of opportunity.
Thank you Chairman