A Global and Local Outlook
Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Edited by Irene Calboli and Jacques de Werra
Chapter 2: TRADEMARK TRANSACTIONS AND THE NORMATIVE FRAMEWORK OF THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. One important function of WIPO is to ensure the administration of a number of intellectual property treaties, some going back to the late 19th century. Moreover, WIPO provides various fora for the development of international norms in intellectual property, such as the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT). This chapter offers an overview on various legal instruments administered by WIPO or negotiated under its aegis and the provisions contained in those instruments that are relevant for trademark transactions, in particular provisions relating to the assignment or transfer of trademarks, the licensing of trademarks and to restrictions of the right to dispose of trademarks. The importance of trademark transactions was highlighted in the World Intellectual Property Report 2013, entitled Brands – Reputation and Image in the Global Marketplace. Admitting the scarcity of economic data available on markets for brands – characterized as trademark transactions in the form of licenses, franchise agreements and transfers of rights – the Report concludes that markets for brands are large and growing. The normative framework for intellectual property rights created and administered by WIPO can be broken down into legal norms at different levels of the hierarchy for international law. This includes international registration services for industrial property rights that produce legal effects in participating countries and organizations.
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