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Overview of the Agreement on TRIPS

The TRIPS Agreement came into effect on 1 January 1995 along with the other Uruguay round agreements and attempts to harmonise the way in which intellectual property rights (IPR’s) are protected all over the world. TRIPS deals with copyright and related rights ,trademarks including service marks; geographical indications including appellations of origin; industrial designs; patents including the protection of new varieties of plants; the layout-designs of integrated circuits; and undisclosed information including trade secrets and test data.


Objective of the agreement on TRIPS

The agreement on TRIPS provides for

  • How basic principles of the trading system and other international intellectual property agreements should be applied
  • How to give adequate protection to intellectual property rights
  • How countries should enforce those rights adequately in their own territories
  • How to settle disputes on intellectual property between members of the WTO
  • Special transitional arrangements during the period when the new system is being introduced

    Three main aspects of the agreement on TRIPS

  • The agreement on TRIPS provides for minimum standards of protection on IPR’s but does not prevent members from providing extensive or TRIPS + protection
  • Moreover members have the added flexibility to apply any system for the implementation of IRIPS that best suits their legal system
  • Finally, members the access and the right to take their disagreements on TRIPS to the Dispute settlement Body of the WTO

    Issues covered under DDA

  • TRIPS and public health
  • Geographical indications
  • Article 27.3(b), protection for plants and animals, traditional knowledge and biodiversity
  • Non-violation complaints (Article 64.2)
  • Technology transfer