The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an agreement of intellectual property regulation which is internationally accepted and administered the World Trade Organisation. The agreement was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1994 when United Nation of America lobbied intensely with the help of European Union, Japan and other developed countries.
The agreement basically introduced the global minimum standards for protecting and enforcing nearly all forms of intellectual property rights (IPR) but unfortunately failed to specify the global minimum standards for patent.
Features of the TRIPS Agreement
There are three main features of TRIPS agreement which are discussed below:
• Standards: The main elements of protection is defined, namely the subject-matter to be protected, the rights to be conferred and permissible exceptions to those rights, and the minimum duration of protection.
• Enforcement: The second main set of provisions deals with domestic procedures and remedies for the enforcement of intellectual property rights. It contains provisions on civil and administrative procedures and remedies, provisional measures, special requirements related to border measures and criminal procedures, which specify, in a certain amount of detail, the procedures and remedies.
• Dispute Settlement: The Agreement makes disputes between WTO Members about the respect of the TRIPS obligations subject to the WTO's dispute settlement procedures.
Issues covered by the TRIPS
• 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.