International rules on intellectual property (IP) protection have long been silent about the need to provide criminal law sanctions against certain forms of IP infringements in national laws. The two ‘classic’ IP treaties, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883 (Paris Convention) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 9 September 1886 (Berne Convention), do not contain any explicit obligations to introduce criminal law sanctions against IP infringements. However, together with the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (Nairobi Treaty), they do contain obligations which contracting parties may choose to implement via their criminal laws: For example, under Art. 6ter of the Paris Convention, Paris Union countries must: In the same vein, Art. 1 of the Nairobi Treaty contains the obligation ‘to refuse or to invalidate the registration as a mark and to prohibit by appropriate measures the use, as a mark or other sign, for commercial purposes, of any sign consisting of or containing the Olympic symbol’.
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