The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was established in 1994 by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The objective of TRIPS is to establish a set of minimum standards for protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights (IPR) across all WTO member countries.
The principles of TRIPS are based on the idea that IPR promotes creativity, innovation, and economic growth. The agreement includes provisions for the protection of copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications, patents, and trade secrets. It also outlines rules for the enforcement of these rights, including civil and criminal penalties for infringement.
One of the key principles of TRIPS is national treatment, which ensures that foreign intellectual property holders are treated no differently than domestic holders. Another principle is the protection of undisclosed information, which is intended to protect trade secrets and confidential information.
The agreement also includes provisions for the protection of public health, which allows governments to issue compulsory licenses for essential drugs during national emergencies or to address public health crises. This provision has been used by several countries to increase access to affordable generic medicines.
In addition, TRIPS allows for the use of flexibilities such as parallel importation and limitations and exceptions to intellectual property rights, which can help balance the interests of IPR holders and the public.
Overall, the objectives and principles of TRIPS seek to promote innovation and creativity while ensuring that IPR protection is accessible and enforceable across all WTO member countries. The agreement has played a significant role in shaping the global intellectual property landscape and will continue to do so in the years to come.