Chapter 3: The US and European Legal Regimes: A Critical Overview
The legal norms aiming at a universal application of intellectual property rules are many and have existed for quite some time. In the field of industrial property, the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property covers patents for inventions, industrial design rights, trademarks and unfair competition protection. Copyright’s ‘Magna Carta’, the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, has been a very significant starting point, even if the US joined the Convention more than 100 years after its conclusion. Another international convention on copyright was the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention. Also important, for copyright, is the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers and Broadcasting Organizations. The European Patent Convention was signed in Munich in 1973. Many European Directives, enacted during the last 15 years, deal with intellectual property rights; they cover particular areas such as, for example, the harmonization of certain aspects of copyrights (Directive 2001/29/EC) or the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (patent rights, Directive 98/44/EC). Many more legal norms of supranational character have been promulgated, with varying degrees of success; the same is true of the European Directives, which, however, at times, Member States have refused to implement or have done so in ways contrary to the very purposes of the instruments, such as unification. Directive 2004/48/EC on the (civil) enforcement of intellectual property rights is applicable to the protection of all kinds of intellectual property rights. As such, it unites all patents, copyrights and trademarks. It does not, however,...
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