oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - International attempts at cooperation and harmonisation in the field of trade mark law



A comparison between the aims and values which underlie, respectively, the International Convention and the draft Community Trade Mark Regulation, reveals the fundamental change in emphasis which has occurred over the last century in the field of international protection of trade mark rights. The essentially negative concern with preventing discrimination by one country against the nationals of another has gradually given way to the positive objective of harmonising the trade mark systems of different states. The Madrid Arrangements and the Trademark Registration Treaty evidence the drive towards harmony at the procedural level, while the Community Trade Mark Regulation goes further, by making available the acquisition of substantive trade mark rights on a uniform basis in a number of countries. Would it be fanciful at this stage to contemplate the possibility of a "world trade mark" that knows no national boundaries? Perhaps it would. As far as South Africa is concerned, membership of the International Convention is probably adequate to meet its present needs.


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