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TRIPS Agreement

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The TRIPS Agreement is an annex to the WTO Agreement which also includes a variety of agreements on goods, services, dispute settlement, a trade policy review mechanism and a number of plurilateral agreements. TRIPS is an abbreviation of Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property RightS, linking trade and intellectual property.

The TRIPS Agreement was drafted in connection with the 1986 Uruguay Round and was adopted at Marrakesh in 1994. The TRIPS Agreement entered into force on 1 January 1995.

The drafting and adoption of the TRIPS Agreement was a significant milestone in the development of intellectual property rights in the 20th century. Today, the TRIPS Agreement is still the most comprehensive multilateral intellectual property agreement and the closest the world has come to drafting a transnational code pertaining to intellectual property.

The TRIPS Agreement contains minimum standards for each WTO member state's protection of intellectual property rights, including copyrights and related rights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, layout designs and trade secrets. The Agreement also includes domestic procedures and remedies for enforcement of intellectual property rights, rules pertaining to acquisition of intellectual property rights and most-favoured nation obligations. The TRIPS Agreement also provides for an effective and binding dispute settlement system as the Agreement refers directly to the dispute settlement provisions of GATT 1994.

Our participation and current discussions

The Council for TRIPS meets approximately three times a year and Danish Patent and Trademark Office participates in all meetings. The common position of the EU is coordinated between the member states' patent and trademark specialists prior to the meetings in the TRIPS Council. 

Discussions at the TRIPS Council have been focused on a variety of issues. For example, it has been discussed how it can be ensured that countries with public health problems can gain access to medicine, even if these countries cannot produce this medicine themselves. As a result hereof, the TRIPS Agreement has been amended. As a part of the Doha agenda, the TRIPS Council is currently discussing the establishment of a system for the registration and notification of geographical indications for wines and spirits, the extension of protection of geographical indications to products other than wines and spirits and the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Read more about the Convention on Biological Diversity

You can read more about the TRIPS Agreement at the WTO website.