The IPKat has excitedly read WIPO Press Release PR/2008/581, which brings the joyous news that the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks will enter into force next year. According to the text,
"A new international treaty setting standards for trademark registration procedures will become effective in 2009 following its ratification by Australia on December 16, 2008. This is the tenth ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (“the Singapore Treaty”) and will allow the treaty to enter into force on March 16. 2009.
WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, welcomed this development saying that the entry into force of the Singapore Treaty ... opened the way for the branded goods industry to register and manage trademark rights cost-effectively and efficiently. This, he said, was a particularly welcome development for companies seeking to generate cost savings, and maintain their market position in the current turbulent economic circumstances [a nicely topical touch -- WIPO would have had to come up with quite a different line if we were all experiencing an economic boom].The IPKat, like most felines, spends 18 hours a day fast asleep and therefore appreciates anything that will give him a quiet life. The Singapore Treaty at least makes this desirable end a little more achievable. Well done everyone. Merpel says, alas there is still too much bureaucratic inconvenience to be overcome. Applying to register a trade mark online should be as easy as buying a book on Amazon -- but we're still some way short of this.
... The Treaty standardizes procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing and enables owners of trademarks and national trademark authorities to take advantage of efficiencies in using modern communications technologies to process and manage evolving trademark rights. By establishing common standards for procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing, the Treaty helps to create a level playing field for all economic operators that invest in branded goods. It recognizes developments in the branded goods industry [the IPKat wonders which Articles of the Treaty achieve this dramatic end ...] and marks a new approach to securing investment in product differentiation [... and this too]. A great deal of creativity and investment goes into the development of brands and it is vital for the industry to be able to secure that investment. The Singapore Treaty establishes trademark office administration rules applicable to all types of trademarks, taking into account the advantages and potential of electronic communication facilities, while recognizing the varying needs of both developing and developed nations. ...".