The Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property was signed in the French capital on 20 March, 1883 and is widely considered as the cornerstone of the international industrial property system. One of the main features of the treaty is that it establishes international standards requiring countries to apply the same level of protection to nationals of other contracting parties as they apply to their own nationals.
The Paris Convention applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, marks, industrial designs, utility models, trade names (designations under which an industrial or commercial activity is carried on), geographical indications (indications of source and appellations of origin) and the repression of unfair competition. The Convention introduced, for the first time, such basic rights as the right to national treatment in each of the member countries, the right of priority in any other member state, a grace period for the payment of maintenance fees as well as temporary protection in respect of goods exhibited at international exhibitions.
The Paris Convention was signed by 11 states in 1883 and had 14 member states when it entered into force a year later. Today, 172 countries from all over the world are party to the treaty
The Paris Convention was revised at Brussels in 1900, at Washington in 1911, at The Hague in 1925, at London in 1934, at Lisbon in 1958 and at Stockholm in 1967, and it was amended in 1979.