Friday, 1 July 2022

Berne Convention and WIPO

 Berne Convention and WIPO

Berne Convention

It is an international agreement governing copyright. It deals with three basic principles:

  1. National Treatment: 

  • The fact that an application has been accepted or rejected in origin state is immaterial for any particular state to consider an application for copyright in its own country. 

  • However, if the protection granted to a work expires in origin state, the other member states will not be obligated to provide protection further than that. The same will not be violative of MFN. 

  • All the work should be protected automatically, there is no need to comply with any formality for the same. It may be protected for evidentiary value.  

  1. Minimum standard of protection

  • Artistic, literary and scientific work in all forms and expression is protected under this.

  • Following rights are provided to the copyright owner:

  • The right to translate

  • The right to make adaptations and arrangements of the work

  • The right to perform in public 

  • The right to recite literary works in public

  • The right to communicate to the public the performance of such works

  • The right to broadcast 

  • The right to make reproductions in any manner or form

  • The right to use the work as a basis for an audiovisual work

  • Moral rights

  1. The duration of protection is for life of the author and 50 years post death. In case of anonymous work, the protection lasts for 50 years; for audiovisual, it is minimum 50 years from release; in case of works of applied art and photographic works, minimum 25 years from creation. 

Infringement of patent is not a criminal offence but infringement of copyright is a criminal offence when used for commercial purposes. 

Sec. 15 of copyright act lays down that if a work protectable under design act is protected under copyright and is reproduced more than 50 times. It will lose its protection under copyright law.  


It is one of the international organisations that became the specialised agency of the UN. Its purpose is to promote the protection of IP. All the IP related treaties which resulted out of WTO meetings or agreements are managed by WIPO. It represents more than 90% of the world countries and has 193 signatories. 


  • To promote protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and other international organisations. International filing can only be done if all the IP offices of all the member states are cooperative and hence, a database is also maintained.

  • To ensure administrative cooperation among IP unions established by the treaties that WIPO administers.


  • Normative activities: they have to create certain norms

  • Program activities: they have to provide technical assistance if required by any member state

  • International classifications and standardisation activities including cooperation between IP offices 

  • Registration activities: they provide a gateway wherein international filing is facilitated. 

  • For dispute resolution, there is WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre. It is not for member states but for companies, SMSEs, startups, inventors, artists , research and development organisations etc. Here the services are provided in a very cost efficient manner. 

  • It maintains a list of certain names of pharmaceutical combinations that cannot be used, of well known marks at a global level etc.

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