Shri Narendra Modi
Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
International Trade

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), negotiated during the Uruguay Round, introduced intellectual property rules for the first time into the multilateral trading system. The Agreement, while recognizing that intellectual property rights (IPRs) are private rights, establishes minimum standards of protection that each government has to give to the intellectual property right in each of the WTO Member countries. The Member countries are, however, free to provide higher standards of intellectual property rights protection. The Agreement is based on and supplements, with additional obligations, the Paris, Berne, Rome and Washington conventions in their respective fields. Thus, the Agreement does not constitute a fully independent convention, but rather an integrative instrument which provides “Convention–plus” protection for IPRs. The TRIPS Agreement is, by its coverage, the most comprehensive international instrument on IPRs, dealing with all types of IPRs, with the sole exception of breeders’ rights. IPRs covered under the TRIPS agreement are: (a) Copyrights and related rights; (b) Trade marks; (c) Geographical Indications; (d) Industrial Designs; (e) Patents; (f) Layout designs of integrated circuits; and (g) Protection of undisclosed information (trade secrets). The TRIPS agreement is based on the basic principles of the other WTO Agreements, like non-discrimination clauses – National Treatment and Most Favoured Nation Treatment, and are intended to promote “technological innovation” and “transfer and dissemination” of technology. It also recognizes the special needs of the least-developed country Members in respect of providing maximum flexibility in the domestic implementation of laws and regulations. Part V of the TRIPS Agreement provides an institutionalized, multilateral means for the prevention of disputes relating to IPRs and settlement thereof. It is aimed at preventing unilateral actions. The text of the agreement can be downloaded here (Hyperlink ANNEX IV A)