The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held the International Conference on Designs in Venice, Italy, on May 13 and 14, 2004.  It followed the City of Venice Award Cermony on May 12, 2004, for Dr. Kamil Idris, WIPO Director General. Dr. Idris received the "Venice Award for Intellectual Property". It was the first such award given by the City of Venice.  This recognition had additional significance, as it was established on the 530d anniversary of the first law on patents, emanated in Venice in the year 1474.

A report to the U. S. American Bar Association (ABA) on the Conference by William T. Fryer, III, who representated the ABA, Section of Intellectual Property Law at the Award Ceremony and the Conference, can be read by clicking on this link..

This web site document introduces and provides access to the International Conference on Design documents, summaries the papers presented that are accessible on the Internet, and provide links to these papers, published by WIPO.  The Conference agenda and published papers can be examined by clicking on this link.   On this Agenda, the link to Power Point (PPT) file of the published paper is identified on the Agenda by an horizontal arrow and the phrase "PPT presentation."   A paper file is opened by clicking on the "PPT presentation" link.  Opening a file online may take significant time, due to file size.  Papers published from the conference were on design protection in the European Union, United States, People's Republic of China, Italy, India, Germany, Japan, South Africa.  One published paper by WIPO staff was an ovrerview of design protection in the 21st Centry, and another WIPO staff person's two papers were on the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Geneva Act).  The papers were in English, unless otherwise indicated below.

Summary of Published Papers.

The Conference introduced the new Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Geneva Act), which went into operation on April 1, 2004.  Several conference speakers indicated that their countries or regional organizations would likely join the Geneva Act, including the U. S. and the European Union.

The presentation provided a current view of the industrial design protection status around the world.

A summary of each published paper is given below:

1. Mr. Wubbo De Boer, President, Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs) (OHIM), Alicante, Spain, European Union (EU) ; paper titled: "2003- First Year of the Registered Community Design".   This paper provided statistics and examines drawback and improvement goals. Mr. DeBoer indicated that the  European Union (EU) would likely join the Geneva Act.

2. Ms. Lois E. Boland, Director, Office of International Relations, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Washington, D. C; paper title: "Industrial Design Protection in the United States".  This paper presented background on the U. S. design patent law, design patent statistics, USPTO design patent procedures, and indicated that the U. S. would likely join the Geneva Act. .

3. Mr. Ernesto Rubio, Assistant Director General, WIPO; paper title: "International Protection of Designs in the 21st Century". This paper reviewed the history on international design protection, international design protection strategy, and the role of WIPO International Bureau.

4. Mr. Zhang Qin, Deputy Commissioner, State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People's Republic of China, Beijing; paper title: "Design Protection in China". This paper addressed the development of design protection in China and the design protection system in China.

5. Mrs. Ludovica Agro', Director, Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM).  This paper was published in Italian.and a translation was not available.

6. Mr. Giuseppe Bertoli, Administrator, Industrial Property, Internal Market Directorate General, European Commission, Brussels; paper title: "International Protection of Industrial Designs in the 21st Century - The EU Point of View".  This paper reviewed the history of Community Design development, the spare parts issue, and summarized the EU participation in the Geneva Act preparation.

7. Mr. Robert Katz, Committee Chair, Industrial Designs Section, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Washington, D. C.; paper title: "Protection of Product Designs in the U. S". This paper described the types of design protection in the U. S., and explained the relation between utility patents, trademarks and designs patents in the U. S., with several examples.

8. Mr. Pete Kercher, Italian Association for Industrial Design (ADI), Milan, Italy; Mr. Kercher, representing an Italian industrial design organization, presented his views on the value of design and design protection.

9. Mr. Darlie O. Koshy, Executive Director, National Institutes of Designs of India, and Executive Board Member of the International Council of Societie of Industrial Design (ICSID), Ahmedabad, India; paper title: "Protecting Industrial Designs Internationally: Why and How?".  This paper is an in-depth study of the economic role of industrial designs, the education provided on industrial design, role of industrial design societies,and a review of basic IP rights in India, with case studies.

10. Mr. Gerhard Bauer, Chief Trademark Counsel, Daimler Chrysler, AG Research and Management, Stuttgart, Germany; paper title:  "How Industrial Design Registration Can be Obtained in Multiple Jurisdictions in an Efficient Manner".  This paper uses the automobile industry, and particularly the author's company, to explain the factors involved in deciding how to obtain design protection.  The European Union Community Design Regulation system is analyzed and compared with filing using the Hague Agreement and direct filing.

11. Mr. Adolfe Guzzini, iGuzzini illuminazione Srf, Recanati, Italy.  This paper describes the history of iGuzzini Company, a leader in Italian product design.  Several of its products are shown.

12. Mr. Yoshihide Nakamura, Senior General Manager, Sony IP Center, Tokyo, Japan; paper title: "History of Sony Design".  This paper displays pictures of several Sony products, showing the evolution of product design.

13. Mrs. Esme' du Plessis, Vice Chair, Statutory Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property, and Partner, Adams & Adams, Pretoria, South Africa; paper title: "Design Protection -- Part of a Unified Marketing Strategy".  This papaer provides an overview on design protection in Africa and participation by African countries in design related treaties.  The relationship of the South Afican Designs Act, trademark Act and copyright law for design protection is explained.

14. Mr. Kenneth D. Engborg, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, General Motors Corporation, Michigan, U. S.  This paper described the importance of design protection  in the automobile industrial and the type of intellectual property rights that obtained.  There are several pictures of automobiles illustrating design significant features that were protected.  A visual comparison of automobiles manufactured in China and the U.A.E with U. S. made vehicles was used to discuss issues in protection of automobile designs.

15. Mr. Gre'goire Bisson, Head Examination and Registration Section, Section of Trademark, Industrial Designs and Geographic Indications, WIPO; paper I title: "Filing an International Application under the HagueAgreement -- Tips and Pitfalls".  The history of the Hague Agreement System, and evolution to the latest version, the Geneva Act, are presented in this paper.  There is guidance on how to use the Geneva Act procedures.

16. Mr. Gre'goire Bisson, Head Examination and Registration Section, Section of Trademark, Industrial Designs and Geographic Indications, WIPO; paper II title: "Introduction to the Geneva Act (1999), of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs". This paper is complementary to his paper I,  and a more comprehensive presentation on the Geneva Act history and operation, with special emphasis on the user, member country and regional organization view points.  A comparative review is given of the prior Hague Agreement system and new Geneva Act procedures.


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This document was last updatead on March 9, 2005