Guernsey's membership of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works has been announced by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The Convention offers signatory countries, which currently stands at 168, an agreed international standard of copyright protection across all its contracting parties. The convention will be extended to Guernsey from 21 November 2014 and will provide protection without the need for registration to literary, dramatic, musical and certain artistic works, as well as films, broadcasts, works of architecture, typographical arrangements and software.

"The extension of the Berne Convention - the most widely recognised 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," said Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry.

"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."

John Ogier, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Commercial Group in Guernsey, commented: "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 benefitting businesses providing intellectual property services from Guernsey."

Alan Bougourd, Registrar of the Guernsey Registry, said membership of the Convention would enhance Guernsey's standing within the UK and international community in relation to intellectual property rights, adding that work would also continue to secure extension of a number of other IP conventions to further enhance Guernsey's position globally.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.