Overview Edit

GATT (an acronym for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is an international trade agreement dating back to 1948 under which member states agree to a set of rules to regulate international trade in goods and services. Generally, GATT is intended to reduce tariffs and open new markets to a country’s goods and services. GATT was signed by President Clinton on December 8, 1994.

Over time, the number of GATT signatories grew and the body of rules was expanded in a series of negotiations called "rounds." During the Uruguay Round, the signatories agreed to establish the World Trade Organization (WTO), now 153 members, to administer the GATT and other multilateral trade agreements.

Most favored nation (MFN) provision Edit

A basic principle of the GATT is the most-favored nation (MFN) principle. Article I of GATT requires that "any advantage, favor, privilege, or immunity granted by any contracting party to any product originating in or destined for any other country shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the like product originating in or destined for the territories of all other contracting parties."

U.S. copyright law Edit

The Act, in part

restores copyright protection for certain foreign works that have lost copyright in the United States. The loss of copyright would have occurred for one of the following reasons:
1. Failure to comply with certain 'formalities' of United States law. These formalities include:
i. publication without notice prior to March 1, 1989.
ii. failure to renew an old law work within the time limit that applied to that work.
iii. failure to comply with the provisions of the 'manufacturing clause.'
2. Lack of subject matter protection in the case of sound recordings fixed before

February 15, 1972.[1]

U.S. patent law Edit

One result of the U.S. joining GATT is that a U.S. patent, if granted on an application filed on or after June 8, 1995, has a term measured by 20 years from the filing date rather than the prior standard of 17 years from the date the patent was granted. Patents in force on June 8, 1995, and applications filed before that date have a term that is the longer of these two terms.

A secondary effect of the GATT was to create an allowance for the proof of date of an invention filed in a WIPO country for events after January 1, 1996. The GATT also provided for provisional patent applications.[2]

References Edit

  1. Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, Glossary, at 8-9.
  2. MPEP 2138.02.

External resources Edit