8  April 2017

TRIPS is short for the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights which is one of the annexes to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization ("the WTO Agreement"). The WTO Agreement together with its annexes establishes a legal framework for access to the world's richest markets and most countries of the world are party to that agreement.

TRIPS requires countries that are party to the WTO Agreement to provide minimum legal protection for the intellectual assets of their own and other member states' nationals in the following areas:
1. Copyright and Related Rights
2. Trademarks
3. Geographical Indications
4. Industrial Designs
5. Patents
6. Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits
7. Protection of Undisclosed Information
They must also provide fair and accessible procedures for enforcing intellectual property rights including and customs procedures for impounding infringing items at air and seaports and land crossings as well as criminal sanctions for counterfeiting and piracy (trade mark and copyright infringement on an industrial scale).

Disputes between contracting parties over the implementation of TRIPS are resolved through consultations and references to dispute settlement panels in accordance with Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement.


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