International Agreements

  • Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
    The agreement recognises that widely varying standards in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and the lack of a multilateral framework of principles, rules and disciplines dealing with international trade in counterfeit goods have been a growing source of tension in international economic relations. Rules and disciplines were needed to cope with these tensions. To that end, the agreement addresses the applicability of basic GATT principles and those of relevant international intellectual property agreements; the provision of adequate intellectual property rights; the provision of effective enforcement measures for those rights; multilateral dispute settlement; and transitional arrangements.
  • TRIPS-Plus
    (e.g., US Trade Representative (USTR)–Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) International Agreements that stand in addition to the TRIPS agreement standards.
  • Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
    The TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health In the declaration, ministers stress that it is important to implement and interpret the TRIPS Agreement in a way that supports public health — by promoting both access to existing medicines and the creation of new medicines. They refer to their separate declaration on this subject. This separate declaration on TRIPS and public health is designed to respond to concerns about the possible implications of the TRIPS Agreement for access to medicines. It emphasizes that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent member governments from acting to protect public health. It affirms governments’ right to use the agreement’s flexibilities in order to avoid any reticence the governments may feel. The separate declaration clarifies some of the forms of flexibility available, in particular compulsory licensing and parallel importing. (For an explanation of these issues, go to the main TRIPS pages on the WTO website) For the Doha agenda, this separate declaration sets two specific task. The TRIPS Council has to find a solution to the problems countries may face in making use of compulsory licensing if they have too little or no pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, reporting to the General Council on this by the end of 2002. (this was achieved in August, 2003, see intellectual property section of the “Agreements” chapter.) The declaration also extends the deadline for least-developed countries to apply provisions on pharmaceutical patents until 1 January 2016.
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