The TRIPS agreement stands for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and is a basic standards agreement that permits the member countries to provide wider protection for their intellectual property if they wish. The Members are free to choose the best manner for implementing the agreement’s provisions within their respective legal system and practice. The agreement establishes several essential concepts and principles, such as national and most-favored-nation treatment, as well as some general regulations to guarantee that procedural problems in obtaining or maintaining IPRs do not negate the agreement’s substantive benefits. This essay talks about the different kinds of IPR that are covered by the TRIPS agreement.
A copyright is the exclusive legal right, given to the original creator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material. The copyright assists parties in securing the protection of their literary and creative creations. Literary works incorporate computer programmes as well. Authors of computer programmes, phonogram performers, phonogram manufacturers, and broadcasting companies will have the option of allowing or prohibiting the commercial leasing of their works to the general public. These exclusive rights extend to filmmaking as well.
A trademark can either be a symbol, words, emblem, or a combination of all which legally represents a company or a product, and helps in differentiating their products to that of the other companies. To make the use of trademarks easier, the TRIPS Agreement includes provisions on well-known marks. The underlying concept of a TRIPS-protected trademark is that the protection of registered well-known marks must extend to goods or services that are not similar to those for which the trademark was registered, provided that their use would indicate a connection between those goods or services and the owner of the registered trademark, and the owner’s interests are likely to be harmed by such usages.
- Geographical indication:-
The agreement defines a Geographical Indication as a name or sign used on products that attribute their origin and manufacturing to a particular region or territory in the world. It goes without saying that the product’s worth, quality, and reputation are inferable to the geographical region it was manufactured in. In the case of all geographical indicators, interested parties must have legal mechanisms to prevent the use of indications that deceive the public about the geographical origin of the good, as well as such usage is an act of unfair competition.
- Industrial designs:-
An industrial design is the construction of a three-dimensional shape, arrangement, or composition of pattern or color, or a mix of pattern and colour that has aesthetic value. A two- or three-dimensional pattern used to manufacture a product, industrial commodity, or handcraft is known as an industrial design. An industrial design right is a type of intellectual property that protects the aesthetic design of non-utilitarian goods. According to this agreement, these industrial designs are protected for a period of 10 years and will protect the owners if their designs are embodied by others for commercial purposes.
Whenever an invention is created, which offers a technical solution to a problem, the person who made the invention will be granted an exclusive right called a patent by an authority. The TRIPS agreement provides 20 years of protection of patent to the owner, and he will have the right to re-assign patents by way of succession, rescind contracts, and much more rights.
- Layout-designs of integrated circuits:-
Integrated circuit layout designs (topographies) are a three-dimensional arrangement of elements composing an integrated circuit that is designed for production. The electrical function of the integrated circuit dictates the layout and order of the components. The agreement provides 10 years of protection to these layout designs.
- Protection of undisclosed information:-
To be protected under the TRIPS Agreement, trade information must be kept secret. Article 39 of the agreement states that the protection must apply to information that is secret, has economic value as a result of its secrecy, and has been subjected to reasonable efforts to keep it secret. The Agreement does not require that undisclosed information be treated as property, but it does require that a person lawfully in control of such information be able to prevent it from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without his or her consent in a way that is inconsistent with fair business practises.
Overall the agreement emphasises that sovereign countries frame their own legislation regarding intellectual property matters.
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