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Appellation of Origin

An appellation of origin is a specific kind of geographical indication that protects the correlation between the quality or characteristics of the products and the specific factors connected to the geographical origin, such as climate or mineral content of soil.

Certification Mark

A certification mark can be placed on products to show that it conform to strict quality standards set out by the owner of the certification mark. They can be used by anyone whose goods meet the required standards.

Collective Marks

A collective mark is a trademark owned my an organisation or association that can be used on goods and services provided by members of the association, informing consumers with an assurance of quality.


Copyright is an automatic right for the protection of work and relates to artistic creations, books, drawings, paintings, music etc.

Geographical Indication

A geographical indication is a sign or symbol that is used on a product to identify it's specific geographical origin and qualities or characteristics that relate to that origin. Commonly a geographical indication simply consists of the name of the place of origin on the product. It is important that they are protected as geographical indications provide consumers with an assurance on origin and quality of the product, often something gained over time. However if they misrepresented or falsely used it can cause confusion for consumers and ultimately become detrimental to legitimate producers by diluting their brand.

Hague Agreement

The Hague Agreement allows an applicant to register industrial designs internationally through the WIPO. It is intended to protect designs with a minimum about of hassle and paperwork across all of the countries party to the agreement. Applications can be filed directly online with the International Bureau of the WIPO through their Website.

Industrial Design

Industrial designs are two and three-dimensional trademarks, and may refer to the physical shape or form of your product and packaging or graphical features such as lines, patterns and colours. To be able to register an industrial design it must be both original and non-functional. Functional aspects of the product will not be protected with a registered industrial design, however they will be protected when registered under patent law.

Lisbon Agreement

The Lisbon Agreement is the system set in place by and governed by the international Bureau of the WIPO to internationally protect geographical indications and more specifically appellations of origin. In many countries goods bearing an appellations of origin can represent a significant share of economic exports, therefore it is imperative that they are protected globally. Registering with the Lisbon Agreement through the WIPO provides global protection in all of them member states that are party to the system in one simple simple process, with minimum formalities and expense.

Madrid Agreement & Protocol

There are two main objectives to the Madrid system. Firstly to offer legal protection within countries party to the Madrid Union over the unlawful reproduction of marks (Trademarks and Service Marks) placed on the International Register. Secondly, to enable easy management of marks, seeing as international registration is equivalent to a bundle of individual national registrations, there is only one registration to renew, changes in ownership, name and address can all be achieved in one simple procedure.

To be able to register a mark internationally through the Madrid System the person filing the mark must either be a citizen of a member state party to the Madrid Agreement or Protocol, or have a commercial or industrial business operating within that there of.

Madrid Union

The states party to the Madrid Agreement, Protocol or both are known as the Madrid Union.

Nice Classification

Nice Classification is a system of classifying goods and services into various categories for the sole purpose of trademark registration. Contracting parties seeking to register a trademark a must state the Nice classes of goods and services they wish to register the trademark under.

Paris Convention

The Paris conventions applies to the protection of industrial property in the widest sense possible, including trademarks, service marks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indication amongst others. All member states must grant the same protection to nationals of other member states as they would to their own nationals.

Passing Off

'Passing off' if a form of protection offered in some countries' legal systems that protects unregistered trademarks. The law prevents one business from misrepresenting goods and services to be that of another.


A Patent offers legal protection over an invention, a product or process that provides a new way of doing something. To qualify for patent protection the invention must be novel and functional. A patent provides the owner with an exclusive over their inventions for a limited period, normally 20 years. A patent must be registered with your national intellectually office, or equivalent, before protection can be grated internationally under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PTC)

The PTC serves to protect applicants with international patent protection for their inventions across the 148 countries that are party to the treaty.

Trade Dress

The term trade dress refers to the visual appearance of a brand and it's notoriety and ability to be recognised amongst consumers. It may be the appearance of a product, it's packaging, shop interior or staff uniform.


A trademark is considered to be a sign, traditionally consisting of letters, numbers, three dimensional shapes (packaging and form etc), images or a combination there of, that is used in business to identify and distinguish a producers goods and services from those of it's competition. Registering trademarks nationally or internationally ensures that the owner has exclusive rights for it's use, and provides legal protection against unsolicited reproduction or counterfeiting.

tm - This symbol can be used on your trademark to indicated that you are taking ownership of that mark. You do not need to register to be able to use this mark. You may choose to use it on your trademark up until it is registered.

R - This symbol is used to indicate that the trademark has been registered. Using the symbol with out prior registration is illegal and you may face prosecution.

Trade Secret

A trade secret is a combination of information (formula, practice, process, design etc.) that is not commonly known and can be used by a business to gain an economic advantage.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The WIPO is an international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, that is dedicated to ensuring the protection of intellectual property the world over.

WIPO acts as the platform for en-state and streamline the rules and practices of intellectual property protection. In manages the various global registration systems and treaties for the protection of trademarks, industrial designs, appellations of origin and the global filing system for patents. These systems are under regular review by the member states of the WIPO to ensure they are constantly being improved to better serve the needs of the users.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO is the only global international organization that manages and oversees the rules of trade between nations. Their primary goal is to assist producers of goods and services and exporters and importers conduct their business.