Interpreting and Implementing the TRIPS Agreement

Interpreting and Implementing the TRIPS Agreement

Is it Fair?

Edited by Justin Malbon and Charles Lawson

This book considers whether the WTO agreement on ‘Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights’ (TRIPS) will become a vehicle for promoting greater international equity and engagement with the world economy or a tool for wealthy nations to extract excessive rents from poorer countries. Can TRIPS garner the necessary degree of legitimacy and public trust to deliver economic development? Can it become a key instrument for promoting international health and development? In response to these questions, the book proposes interpretive possibilities for the TRIPS’ text along with implementation strategies to avoid the threat of its irrelevancy due, amongst other things, to free trade agreements containing TRIPS-plus terms.

Chapter 5: Intellectual Property Protection after TRIPS: An Asian Experience

Jakkrit Kuanpoth

Subjects: development studies, development economics, law and development, economics and finance, development economics, law - academic, intellectual property law, law and development


Jakkrit Kuanpoth 1. INTRODUCTION Intellectual property (IP) was until recently the domain of specialists and producers of IP rights. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) concluded during the Uruguay Round negotiations in 1994, signalled a major shift in this regard. The incorporation of IP rights into the multilateral trading system has elicited great concern over its pervasive role in people’s lives and in society in general. TRIPS is a comprehensive agreement containing new multilateral rules and disciplines with relatively high standards of IP protection. Developing countries that are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have fewer policy options for protecting IP rights, and are enjoying less flexibility than that enjoyed by developed countries in using IP rights to support their national development. However, TRIPS is not the end of the story. Significant new developments are currently taking place at the regional and bilateral level that build on and strengthen the IP standards through the progressive harmonisation of technologically advanced countries. Developing countries face the challenge of constraint optimisation on ways of implementing the TRIPS Agreement that minimise socioeconomic costs and maximise national benefits. The developing states are now facing increased pressure towards higher standards of IP protection (such as the so-called TRIPS-plus). The attempts of the developed countries to evolve the TRIPS-plus regime, which appears in the form of free trade agreement (FTA), provide opportunities for those countries to negotiate rules and commitments that go beyond what was not possible on the multilateral...

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