Notes on Article 13
WIPO CRNR/DC/4 ORIGINAL: English DATE: August 30, 1996
Notes on Article 13
13.01 Article 13 contains provisions on obligations concerning technological measures.
13.02 According to paragraph (1) Contracting Parties shall make unlawful the importation, manufacture or distribution of protection-defeating devices or the offer or performance or services having the same effect. A condition for proscription is that the person performing the act knows or has reasonable grounds to know that the device or service will be used for or in the course of the unauthorized exercise of any of the rights provided for under the proposed Treaty. This knowledge requirement therefore focuses on the purpose for which the device or service will be used. The expression "knowing or having reasonable grounds to know" has the same meaning as the expression "knowingly or with reasonable grounds to know" in the provisions on enforcement in the TRIPS Agreement.
13.03 Paragraph (2) includes a provision on remedies against the unlawful acts referred to in paragraph (1). The reason for a special provision on remedies is the fact that the provisions on enforcement in the TRIPS Agreement, which are applicable according to Article 16 of the proposed Treaty, only concern "any act of infringement of intellectual property rights covered by this Agreement". The obligations established in the proposed Article 13 are more akin to public law obligations directed at Contracting Parties than to provisions granting "intellectual property rights".
13.04 Contracting Parties are free to choose appropriate remedies according to their own legal traditions. The main requirement is that the remedies provided are effective and thus constitute a deterrent and a sufficient sanction against the prohibited acts.
13.05 Contracting Parties may design the exact field of application of the provisions envisaged in this Article taking into consideration the need to avoid legislation that would impede lawful practices and the lawful use of subject matter that is in the public domain. Having regard to differences in legal traditions, Contracting Parties may, in their national legislation, also define the coverage and extent of the liability for violation of the prohibition enacted according to paragraph (1).
13.06 Paragraph (3) contains the definition of a "protection-defeating device". It describes the characteristics of devices falling within the scope of the obligations under paragraph (1). To achieve the necessary coverage, the phrase "primary purpose or primary effect of which is to circumvent..." has been used rather than "specifically designed or adapted to circumvent...".
13.07 Proposals concerning the obligations of Contracting Parties in connection with protection-defeating devices and other technological measures were presented for the February 1996 session of the Committees of Experts by Argentina, Brazil, and the United States of America. The People's Republic of China suggested that matters such as technical measures should be studied further. The European Community and its Member States, and the Republic of Korea also made proposals on this issue for the May 1996 session of the Committees of Experts.
[End of Notes on Article 13]
Obligations concerning Technological Measures
(1) Contracting Parties shall make unlawful the importation, manufacture or distribution of protection-defeating devices, or the offer or performance of any service having the same effect, by any person knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that the device or service will be used for, or in the course of, the exercise of rights provided under this Treaty that is not authorized by the rightholder or the law.
(2) Contracting Parties shall provide for appropriate and effective remedies against the unlawful acts referred to in paragraph (1).
(3) As used in this Article, "protection-defeating device" means any device, product or component incorporated into a device or product, the primary purpose or primary effect of which is to circumvent any process, treatment, mechanism or system that prevents or inhibits any of the acts covered by the rights under this Treaty.
[End of Article 13]