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TRIPS Compatibility of Sri Lankan Trademark Law


  • Althaf Marsoof


Having been a contracting party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1948, Sri Lanka ratified the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) in June 1994, and became one of its founding Members. Since then, Sri Lanka has striven to bring its local laws into conformity with the standards imposed by the WTO. In the context of intellectual property (IP), the former Code of Intellectual Property of 1979 was replaced by the Intellectual Property Act of 2003. This legislative change was particularly important in discharging Sri Lanka's obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which forms one of several WTO covered agreements, to which Sri Lanka is party. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent that the Sri Lankan trademark law is in conformity with the standards imposed by TRIPS. The focus, in particular, is on the aspects of acquisition and cancellation of trademark rights and the nature and scope of these rights.