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Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

Why is it in the news?

  • The World Trade Organisation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), a multilateral agreement governing intellectual property standards.

Key highlights of the TRIPS Agreement

  • The TRIPS Agreement was developed as part of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the predecessor to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It became effective on January 1, 1995, upon the establishment of the WTO.
  • It is the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property rights (IPR), covering various aspects such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, etc.
  • The TRIPS Agreement sets out the minimum standards of protection to be provided by each Member, incorporating provisions from the World Intellectual Property Organization鈥檚 (WIPO) Paris and Berne Conventions.
  • It encompasses various forms of intellectual property rights, including copyright, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, and layout-designs of integrated circuits.
  • Any disputes related to TRIPS obligations are subject to the WTO鈥檚 dispute settlement procedures. Additionally, the agreement provides for the Council for TRIPS, a forum where WTO members discuss issues relating to the agreement.
  • The TRIPS Agreement allows for compulsory licensing, enabling the production of patented products or processes without the consent of the patent owner. This provision has been particularly beneficial for developing and underdeveloped countries.
路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 India joined the TRIPS Agreement in 1995, necessitating amendments to its existing intellectual property laws. For instance, amendments were made to the Patents Act, 1970, to comply with the TRIPS Agreement, notably through the Patents (Amendment Act) of 2005.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 The Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement affirmed that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures to protect public health. It also recognized the right of members to fully utilize flexibilities in the Agreement for this purpose, particularly regarding access to affordable medicines and public health concerns.

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