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Berne Convention On IP Extended To Guernsey

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
23 September, 2014

Guernsey has been accepted as a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "The extension of the Berne Convention – the most widely recognized copyright convention in the world – is good news for the island's Intellectual Property (IP) regime. Not only does it mean that works that originate in Guernsey will receive copyright protection in all of the Berne Convention member countries, but works produced elsewhere will also be given reciprocal copyright protection here in Guernsey."

"Guernsey has a history of structuring and protecting IP globally through its private wealth sector. Therefore, membership of the Berne Convention not only reinforces our fiduciary offering but also demonstrates that Guernsey is meeting yet another global standard and remains a highly desirable location for doing business."

Guernsey's membership will support the growth of the island's Image Rights Register, the world's first, which was established in December 2012. The Register has received over 30 applications to date. The Guernsey Registry offers the opportunity to assign image rights to a company, enabling greater legal protection, ease of transfer, and may unlock taxation benefits.

John Ogier, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Commercial Group in Guernsey, said: "Guernsey is a strong jurisdiction for IP protection and offers many opportunities for those wishing to develop and manage their rights internationally. The Berne Convention launched in 1886, and amended in 1979, has 168 contracting parties covering all the major economies and most of the smaller jurisdictions in the world. It will therefore provide international protection for copyright and related works by the articles agreed in the Convention. This 'international' extension of protection applies as soon as the right is created. The Berne Convention will greatly facilitate our international trade opportunities in the creative industries and software development, as well as benefiting businesses providing intellectual property services from Guernsey."

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