On TRIPs and Developing Countries: ‘Don’t Do Unto Others...’
Appendix – On TRIPs and developing countries: ‘Don’t do unto others …’ 1. Foreword The question of how and with what effect the rules governing intellectual property rights (IPRs) intervene in relations between industrially developed countries (dominant holders of technology and innovative production techniques) and developing countries has indeed and still is the object of a timeless debate, which in contemporary days has of course eminently focused on the TRIPs Agreement, signed in Marrakesh on 15 April 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995. As is well known, the Agreement reflects intellectual property protection models typical of the advanced industrial world. It is no secret that it was strongly advocated by the most industrialised nations, first and foremost the US, even with direct intense diplomatic support for the proposals and requests of major industries belonging to the International Intellectual Property Alliance. Also well known is that in pushing for the realisation of the TRIPs, the US aimed to incorporate many of the conditions that they had previously successfully negotiated in bilateral agreements with less developed countries, thereafter presenting the draft Treaty as an expression of ‘harmonisation’.1 Moreover, in order to have the highest number of nations toe the line, adhering to the Agreement (and thus the enforcement of its provisions) was made a pre-requisite for membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the multilateral board of international trade which was established (as a replacement for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)) on the same date as the...
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