Various intellectual inventions and creativity have had a big impact on today’s globe. The inventor’s efforts to promote and defend these ideas and concepts become increasingly important as they become more popular and successful. Beyond simply transporting goods across borders, the concept of commerce and what makes trade beneficial to nations has evolved. Innovation, creativity, and branding account for a large amount of the value shared in today’s worldwide trade. How to boost this value and make it simpler for innovative commodities and services to transcend borders has become a critical issue in development and trade policy.
The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement is critical for boosting knowledge and innovation trade, resolving intellectual property trade disputes, and ensuring WTO members’ ability to pursue domestic priorities. The agreement formalises the relevance of intellectual property and trade interactions.
History of TRIPS Agreement
As intellectual property became more important in trade, the level of protection and enforcement of these rights varied widely around the world, becoming a cause of tension in international economic relations. New globally agreed-upon trade standards for intellectual property rights were examined as a way to improve market order and predictability, as well as a more methodical approach to dispute resolution.
Until the World Trade Organization (WTO) was founded in 1995, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the only multilateral system supervising international commerce. There were eight rounds of negotiations under GATT, the first five of which were solely focused on tariffs, while the sixth round included discussions on anti-dumping measures, which included provisions for member nations to control the dumping of goods into their territory by other nations, which could harm their economies.
The Uruguay Round was the final round of the GATT (1986-1994). The first talks on trade related to agriculture, services, and intellectual property rights took place during this session. The WTO accepted all 123 nations that participated in the Uruguay Round, including India. The WTO today has 164 members, representing almost 90% of the world’s countries. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is responsible for drafting and enforcing new international trade treaties. It is also in charge of ensuring that the vast majority of the world’s trading states follow through on the trade agreements they have signed. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the multilateral legal and administrative framework for regulating and expanding international ties among its 157 members. Its purpose is to establish fair and secure international trading arrangements to stimulate trade and investment and raise global living standards.
About TRIPS Agreement
The TRIPS Agreement provides substantial intellectual property protection in trade-related regions and is regarded as a completely new framework for intellectual property standards protection. The TRIPs Agreement is also notable for being the first legal agreement to handle all aspects of intellectual property through a series of specific sections.
The agreement governs the following three major issues:
Standard– All member states must offer a minimum set of standards for IPR protection in each of the IP categories covered by the Agreement. Each area of intellectual property is covered in such a way that the major components of protection, such as the subject matter sought to be protected, the rights to be given, any exceptions to such rights, and the minimum duration of protection, are all specified.
Enforcement– The second set of provisions focuses on domestic mechanisms and remedies for enforcing intellectual property rights. The Agreement outlines a set of basic rules that must be followed in all IPR enforcement operations. It also includes provisions on civil and administrative processes and remedies, interim measures, specific border requirements, and criminal proceedings, all of which detail the procedures and remedies that must be given so that right holder can exercise their rights successfully.
Dispute resolution- Disputes between WTO members over TRIPS Agreement responsibilities are subject to the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanisms.
The TRIPS Agreement is further divided into seven parts, each of which contains complicated intellectual property provisions:
• Part I: General Provisions and Fundamental Principles (Article 1 to Article 8)
• Part II- This section addresses the requirements for intellectual property rights availability, scope, and application. (Articles 9 through 40)
• Part III- The focus of this section is on IPR enforcement. (Articles 41 through 61)
• Part IV: This section explains how to secure and preserve intellectual property rights. (See Article 62.)
• Part V: This section addresses the prevention and resolution of conflicts arising from the Agreement’s provisions. (Articles 63 through 64)
- Part VI: Transitional agreements are discussed in this section. (Articles 65 through 67)
- Part VII: This section of the Agreement addresses various institutional configurations. (Articles 68 through 73)
General regulations and fundamental principles
Articles 3, 4, and 5 provide the fundamental principles governing the national and most-favoured-nation treatment of foreign people, and they apply to all types of intellectual property covered by the Agreement. These obligations apply not only to substantive standards of protection, but also to issues concerning the availability, acquisition, scope, maintenance, and enforcement of intellectual property rights, as well as issues concerning the use of intellectual property rights expressly addressed in the Agreement. While the national treatment rule bans discrimination between the nationals of a member and those of other members, the most-favoured-nation’ treatment clause prohibits discrimination between the nationals of other members. Exclusions permitted under pre-existing WIPO intellectual property treaties are also permitted under TRIPS in terms of the national treatment commitment. Furthermore, under the provisions of the Agreement, governments have the jurisdiction to establish legislation prohibiting rights holders from exploiting IPR or to challenge practices that unfairly restrict commerce or obstruct the international transfer of technology.
Need for the TRIPS Agreement
IP protection was intended to aid not only in the promotion of technical innovation, but also in the transfer and spread of new technology in a way that benefits both its producers and users while maintaining a balance of rights and duties, all in the interest of increasing social and economic well-being. As a result, the TRIPS Agreement’s principal goals included eliminating trade distortions and obstacles by promoting effective and appropriate IPR protection, as well as ensuring that IPR enforcement mechanisms and processes do not become barriers to legitimate commerce.
The current increase in IP legislative activity, as well as the rapid acceptance of TRIPS-covered IP rights, illustrate the TRIPS Agreement’s importance in the global trading system. While IP is at the heart of attempts to obtain benefits from innovation and creativity in today’s global economy, the TRIPS Agreement continues to play a key role in facilitating international trade in knowledge, resolving trade issues over IP, and ensuring WTO members the latitude to achieve their domestic objectives.
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