The Many Faces of the Public Domain
Edited by Charlotte Waelde and Hector MacQueen
Chapter 4: The Public Domain and International Intellectual Property Law Treaties
4. The public domain and international intellectual property law treaties Antony Taubman* When ‘Omer smote ‘is bloomin’ lyre, He’d ‘eard men sing by land an’ sea; An’ what he thought ‘e might require, ‘E went an’ took – the same as me! (Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-Room Ballads) Every text is from the outset under the jurisdiction of other discourses which impose a universe on it. (Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, 1980) 1 Introduction: the international face of public domains This chapter, too, has many faces. The agonistic yet symbiotic pas-de-deux between public domains and international intellectual property (IP) treaties can offer unexpectedly diverse aspects for reflection, from several vantage points: international public goods as a link between the public domain and the IP system; l the conception or construction of an international public domain; l the public domain status of treaties as texts in themselves; * This chapter expresses personal views of the author and explores ideas that have no connection with any official appointment; the views expressed should not be attributed to WIPO, its Member States or its Secretariat. Based on research undertaken at the Australian Center for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA), College of Law, Australian National University. The following treaties are discussed in particular: the Stockholm Act of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1967), henceforth ‘Paris’; the Paris Act of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1971), henceforth ‘Berne’; the Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970)...
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