The final installment of this series on the major intellectual property (IP) treaties will discuss three more agreements, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the “TRIPS Agreement”), the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs (the “Hague Agreement”), and the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin (the “Lisbon Agreement”).


The Trips Agreement

The TRIPS Agreement is one of the most comprehensive international agreements concerning IP. The parties to the agreement include all of the members of the World Trade Organization.

The TRIPS Agreement covers all of the major areas of IP, such as copyrights, trademarks, service marks, geographic indications, industrial designs, utility patents, plant patents, integrated circuit layouts, confidential information, trade secrets and test data.

The TRIPS Agreement has three major components. The first component sets minimum standards for certain forms of IP protection. The second component addresses enforcement of IP rights and remedies for infringement of those rights. The third component includes dispute resolution procedures for member nations.


The Hague Agreement

The Hague Agreement governs the registration of industrial designs. The Hague Agreement provides a framework, known as the Hague System, in which entities can apply for and obtain protection for industrial designs in multiple countries through a single application.

The Hague Agreement was first adopted in 1925 and became effective in 1928. The agreement was executed in multiple instruments over many years. It has around 70 contracting parties to one or more of the instruments. The United States became a contracting party in 2015.

The Hague Agreement provides an entity with the ability to file a single international application through the World Intellectual Property Organization, (“WIPO”) either directly or through one of the contracting states. The application can be made in English, Spanish or French. The application can include up to 100 designs, provided that they are in the same class.


The Lisbon Agreement

The Lisbon Agreement governs “appellations of origin.” The agreement provides a single system for protecting appellations of origin for multiple countries. The system is administered by WIPO.

The agreement was concluded in 1958. It was amended or revised twice. The coverage is not as extensive as with the other major IP treaties because there are only 28 contracting states.

The system provide entities with the ability to protect appellations of origin in all of the contracting states through a single registration and the payment of a single set of fees.