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International trade law: IP rights

The TRIPS regime

Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1994 April 15)

WTO: TRIPS Agreement

The WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), was originally negotiated in the 1986-94 Uruguay Round. (The original text of TRIPS Agreement was included as Annex 1C of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization) This introduced intellectual property rules into the multilateral trading system for the first time. Please follow the links below for more information - the WTO has a useful introduction for those who are new to the subject, as well as providing access to the text of the agreement.


The TRIPS Agreement was amended through the Protocol of 6 December 2005 EIF 23 January 2017.  (New Article 31bis, Annex , Appendix.) "These provide the legal basis for WTO members to grant special compulsory licences exclusively for the production and export of affordable generic medicines to other members that cannot domestically produce the needed medicines in sufficient quantities for their patients." From WTO website.

WTO Quick Start

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Established: 1 January 1995
Created by: Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94)  
Membership: 153 countries on 23 July 2008
Budget: 196 million Swiss francs for 2011
Secretariat staff: 640
Head: Pascal Lamy (Director-General)

• Administering WTO trade agreements
• Forum for trade negotiations
• Handling trade disputes
• Monitoring national trade policies
• Technical assistance and training for developing countries
• Cooperation with other international organizations 

Information taken from official website (below)