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Pharmaceuticals and the WTO TRIPS Agreement: Questions and Answers
(2000; 5 pages) View the PDF document
Abstract
The Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was negotiated with other international trade agreements during the Uruguay Round trade negotiations of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) from 1986 to 1994. As one of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, it is totally binding for all WTO Member States (whether a previous GATT Member or a new WTO one)1. The TRIPS Agreement sets minimum standards in the field of intellectual property (IP) protection (such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks) that all WTO Member countries have to respect. To achieve this goal, WTO Members have to modify their intellectual property laws to make them consistent with the new WTO standards. For instance, the TRIPS Agreement states that all patents shall be available for at least 20 years from the filing date, whereas before TRIPS the patent term varied greatly among countries (7, 10, 17 or 20 years). All WTO Members have to incorporate this 20-year patent term in their own patent law...
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentWhat is TRIPS?
View the documentWhat will change with TRIPS?
View the documentWhen does TRIPS apply?
View the documentWhich drugs will be affected by the new patent rules?
View the documentWhat are developing countries' obligations under TRIPS?
View the documentFurther reading
 

Pharmaceuticals and the WTO TRIPS Agreement: Questions and Answers

Geneva, March 2000

World Health
Organization


Authors

P. Boulet

WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy

J. Perriens

UNAIDS Department of Policy, Strategy and Research

F. Renaud-Théry

WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy

G. Velasquez

WHO Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy

 

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