Text - Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 110-2All Information (Except Treaty Text)

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[Senate Treaty Document 110-2]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



110th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                     Treaty Doc.
                                                                  110-2
_______________________________________________________________________


 
               SINGAPORE TREATY ON THE LAW OF TRADEMARKS

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

   THE SINGAPORE TREATY ON THE LAW OF TRADEMARKS (THE ``TREATY'' OR 
   ``SINGAPORE TREATY'') ADOPTED AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES AT 
                      SINGAPORE ON MARCH 28, 2006




May 3, 2007.--The Treaty was read the first time, and together with the 
accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and 
            ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                      The White House, May 3, 2007.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith for the Senate's advice and consent to 
ratification the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (the 
``Treaty'' or ``Singapore Treaty'') adopted and signed by the 
United States at Singapore on March 28, 2006. I also transmit 
for the information of the Senate a report of the Department of 
State with respect to the Treaty.
    If ratified by the United States, the Treaty would offer 
significant benefits to U.S. trademark owners and national 
trademark offices, including the United States Patent and 
Trademark Office. The beneficial features of the Trademark Law 
Treaty of 1994 (the ``1994 TLT''), to which the United States 
is a party, are included in the Singapore Treaty, as well as 
the improvements to the 1994 TLT that the United States 
Government sought to achieve through the revision effort. Key 
improvements allow for national trademark offices to take 
advantage of electronic communication systems as an efficient 
and cost-saving alternative to paper communications, at such 
time as the office is ready to embrace the technology. The 
Treaty also includes trademark license recordation provisions 
that reduce the formalities that trademark owners face when 
doing business in a country that is a Contracting Party that 
requires trademark license recordation. The goal of these 
provisions is to reduce the damaging effects that can result 
from failure to record a license in those jurisdictions that 
require recordation. These and other improvements create a more 
attractive treaty for World Intellectual Property Organization 
Member States. Consequently, once the Treaty is in force, it is 
expected to increase the efficiency of national trademark 
offices, which in turn is expected to create efficiencies and 
cost savings for U.S. trademark owners registering and 
maintaining trademarks abroad.
    Ratification of the Treaty is in the best interests of the 
United States. I recommend, therefore, that the Senate give 
early and favorable consideration to the Treaty and give its 
advice and consent to ratification.

                                                    George W. Bush.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                    Washington, DC, March 29, 2007.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor hereby to submit to you, 
with a view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and 
consent to ratification, the Singapore Treaty on the Law of 
Trademarks (the ``Treaty'' or ``Singapore Treaty''), adopted 
and signed by the United States at Singapore on March 28, 2006. 
This Treaty was adopted under the auspices of the World 
Intellectual Property Organization (``WIPO'') with the 
objective of simplifying the process of applying for and 
maintaining trademark registrations and trademark license 
recordations in those countries or intergovernmental 
organizations that are parties to the Treaty (``Contracting 
Parties'').
    The Singapore Treaty revises the WIPO Trademark Law Treaty 
of 1994 (`` 1994 TLT''), to which the United States is a party 
along with 37 other parties.
    The revisions improve upon the 1994 TLT and are intended to 
make the Singapore Treaty more attractive to prospective 
Contracting Parties, and thus expand the benefits of the 
Treaty, if ratified, to U.S. trademark owners filing in other 
countries.
    The Singapore Treaty contains virtually all of the same 
provisions as those of the 1994 TLT, but revises aspects of the 
1994 TLT to: allow national trademark offices to accept only 
electronic filings, if they so choose; require trademark 
offices to grant relief to trademark owners who fail to comply 
with certain time limits; impose limits on license recordation 
requirements and on penalties associated with failure to record 
licenses; create an Assembly to deal with matters concerning 
the Treaty; and clarify the administrative tasks to be 
performed by WIPO's International Bureau under the Treaty.
    The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. 
Trade Representative join the Department of State in requesting 
that the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks be 
transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
ratification as soon as possible.
    Respectfully submitted.
                                                  Condoleezza Rice.
    Enclosure: Key Provisions of the Singapore Treaty on the 
Law of Trademarks.
    key provisions of the singapore treaty on the law of trademarks


    The Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (the 
``Treaty'' or ``Singapore Treaty'') contains virtually all of 
the same provisions as the 1994 Trademark Law Treaty (``1994 
TLT'') with additional provisions that would, if the Treaty 
were ratified, provide further benefits for U.S. trademark 
owners. The 1994 is designed to harmonize formalities and 
simplify procedures in the, application for registration and 
renewal of trademarks by establishing maximum requirements that 
parties to the treaty can impose on trademark applicants and 
holders. From the brand owner's perspective, the 1994 TLT saves 
time and money in trademark prosecution and maintenance.
    The Singapore Treaty improves upon the 1994 TLT by: (1) 
allowing national trademark offices to accept only electronic 
filings, if they so choose; (2) providing relief measures for 
failures to comply with certain time limits; (3) imposing 
limits on license recordal requirements and on penalties 
associated with failure to record licenses; (4) creating an 
Assembly to deal with matters concerning the Treaty; and (5) 
clarifying the role of the World Intellectual Property 
Organization's (``WIPO'') International Bureau in administering 
the Treaty.
Elimination of Paper Requirements
    Article 8 provides that any party to the Treaty 
(``Contracting Party'') may choose whether it accepts 
communications on paper, or in any other form. By contrast, 
several provisions of the 1994 TLT, which are not included in 
the Singapore Treaty, require domestic trademark offices (such 
as the United States Patent and Trademark Office) to accept 
trademark applications submitted in paper form.
Relief Measures for Failure To Comply With Time Limits
    Article 14 requires Contracting Parties to provide for at 
least one type of relief measure for trademark applicants that 
fail to comply with specific time limits during the trademark 
application process who apply for such relief. This relief can 
take the form of: (1) extension of time to comply; (2) 
continued processing; or (3) reinstatement of rights.
Limits on License Recordal Requirements
    Certain countries (but not the United States) require that 
trademark licenses that are issued by trademark owners be 
recorded in an official register. Articles 17 and 18 impose 
limitations on the types of requirements that can be imposed 
with respect to recordal of a license. Additionally, Articles 
19 and 20 prohibit Contracting Parties from depriving trademark 
owners or licensees of certain legal rights simply because of a 
failure to record a license.
Assembly and International Bureau
    Article 23 creates an Assembly constituted by the 
Contracting Parties to deal with matters concerning the Treaty. 
It also provides for voting rules for decisions of the 
Assembly. Of note, this Treaty (as does the 1994 TLT) allows 
certain intergovernmental organizations to become Contracting 
Parties. Article 23 also specifies that any Contracting Party 
that is an intergovernmental organization may participate in a 
vote, in place of the Member States of which it is comprised, 
with a number of votes equal to the number of its Member States 
that are Contracting Parties. It further provides that no such 
organization shall participate in the vote if any of its Member 
States exercises its right to vote and vice versa. Article 24 
clarifies the administrative tasks to be performed by WIPO's 
International Bureau related to the Treaty.
Application of the 1994 TLT and the Singapore Treaty
    Article 27 clarifies that with respect to relations between 
Contracting Parties to the Singapore Treaty and the 1994 TLT, 
the Singapore Treaty applies. The Article also clarifies that a 
Contracting Party to both the Singapore Treaty and the 1994 TLT 
shall continue to apply the 1994 TLT in its relations with a 
party to the 1994 TLT that is not a Contracting Party to the 
Singapore Treaty.

Implementing Legislation

    In the event that the Senate provides its advice and 
consent to ratify this Treaty, the United States would not be 
required to enact any implementing legislation as the United 
States is already in compliance with the provisions of the 
Treaty.