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28 March 2014
trade related aspects of intellactual property
on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) is aninternational agreementadministered
by theWorld Trade
Organization that sets down minimum standards for
many forms ofintellectual
property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members.
The TRIPS agreement introduced intellectual
property law into the international trading system for the first time and remains
the most comprehensive international agreement on intellectual property to
Origin of TRIPS Agreement
TRIPS was negotiated at the end of theUruguay
theGeneral Agreement on
Tariffs and Tradein 1994. Its inclusion was the culmination of a program of intenselobbyingby theUnited States, supported by theEuropean Union,Japanand otherdeveloped nations.
After the Uruguay round, the GATT became the basis for
the establishment of the World Trade Organization. Because ratification of
TRIPS is a compulsory requirement of World Trade Organization membership, any
country seeking to obtain easy access to the numerous international markets
opened by the World Trade Organization must enact the strict intellectual
property laws mandated by TRIPS.
For this reason, TRIPS is the most important multilateral
instrument for the globalization of intellectual property laws. States like
Russia and China that were very unlikely to join theBerne
Conventionhave found the prospect of WTO membership a powerful enticement.
Furthermore, unlike other agreements on intellectual
property, TRIPS has a powerful enforcement mechanism. States can be disciplined
through the WTO'sdispute settlementmechanism.
Need for TRIPS
Ideas and knowledge are an increasingly important part of
trade. Most of the value of new medicines and other high technology products
lies in the amount of invention, innovation, research, design and testing
involved.Creators can be given the
right to prevent others from using their inventions, designs or other creations
— and to use that right to negotiate payment in return for others using them.
For example books, paintings and films come under copyright; inventions can be
patented; brand names and product logos can be registered as trademarks.
Earlier the extent of protection and enforcement of the
Intellectual Property rights varied widely around the world; and as
intellectual property became more important in trade, these differences became
a source of tension in international economic relations. New
internationally-agreed trade rules for intellectual property rights were seen
as a way to introduce more order and predictability, and for disputes to be
The WTO’s TRIPS Agreement is an attempt to narrow the
gaps in the way these rights are protected around the world, and to bring them
under common international rules.
The TRIPS Agreement is aimed at harmonizing the
Intellectual Property, related laws and regulations worldwide. The TRIPS
Agreement accomplishes this motive by setting minimum standards for protection
of various forms of IP. The nations that are signatory to the TRIPS Agreement
have to abide by these minimum standards in their national laws related to IP.