By Press Release PR/2008/568, issued yesterday, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced the ratification by the United States of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, an international treaty on trade marks that streamlines and modernizes certain trade mark office procedures.
Right: workers prepare the instrument of ratification for deposit
Says the Press Release:
"The American delegation which deposited the USA instrument of ratification with the WIPO Director General on October 1, 2008, was led by Ambassador Warren Tichenor, Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. “The U.S. looks forward to the Singapore Treaty entering into force,” said Ambassador Tichenor. “This ratification is a step in that direction. The Treaty will benefit not only U.S. companies but those of all signatories looking to protect their trademarks abroad, efficiently and cost-effectively.”The IPKat is very much in favour of simplification of administrative operations relating to trade marks -- and indeed everything else -- and he suspects that, with the US in the bag, it will be easier to attract more countries into Singapore. But, he muses, why does it take a whole delegation to deposit the instrument of ratification, led by the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva?
... The Treaty will enter into force as soon as 10 contracting parties (countries or qualifying intergovernmental organizations) have deposited instruments of ratification to the Treaty with the WIPO Director General. The US ratification brings the current number of states party to the Treaty to eight.
Over 50 countries have already signed the Treaty. By signing it, states declare their support for the Treaty and their intention to formally join it. The Treaty becomes binding for states once the instrument of ratification or accession has been deposited with the Director General of WIPO. Singapore, which hosted the final round of negotiations in 2006 leading to the Treaty’s adoption, was the first country to finalize the ratification process in March 2007, followed by Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark, Latvia and Kyrgyzstan. For more information on signatory states please visit //www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/singapore/".
Left: 'The Ambassadors', by Holbein -- even in the 16th Century diplomacy was a weighty matter
Is the instrument very heavy, needing many people to carry it into the room? And what happens once the instrument is deposited? Who gets to play it? Presumably, if it's anything to do with diplomats it must be a wind instrument.
Merpel says, I'm not very happy with the Ambassador saying: "The Treaty will benefit not only U.S. companies but those of all signatories looking to protect their trademarks abroad". This makes it sound as though the Treaty was made specifically to protect US interests but also incidentally protects those of other countries too, as a sort of side-effect.