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In historic votes on October 5 and October 12, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation designed to bring U.S. law into compliance with the Berne Convention. The legislation was signed by President Reagan on October 31, 1988. Also signed by the President was a Senate Resolution of October 20 of Ratification of the Berne Convention. Following deposit of the requisite instruments with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, U.S. adherence to Berne took effect on March 1, 1989.

For the U.S., this momentous step is the culmination of decades of struggle, including many failed attempts by the U.S. over the years to align itself with other developed and developing nations in subscribing to the world's oldest and most extensive treaty protecting the rights of authors. The step was at last achieved in the closing hours of the hectic session of the Congress shortly before the Presidential election. It was achieved, also, in the face of internal political maneuvering that threatened the adherence bills with delay and possible defeat until the last moment.


Intellectual Property Law | International Law | Law