TRIPS and Developing Countries

TRIPS and Developing Countries

Towards a New IP World Order?

Edited by Gustavo Ghidini, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Marco Ricolfi

TRIPS reflects the dominant view that enforcing strong intellectual property rights is necessary to solve problems of trade and development. The global ensemble of authors in this collection ask, how can TRIPS mature further into an institution that supports a view of economic development which incorporates the human rights ethic already at work in the multilateralist geopolitics driving international relations? In particular, how can these human rights, seen as encompassing a whole ‘new’ set of collective interests such as public health, environment, and nutrition, provide a pragmatic ethic for shaping development policy? Some chapters address these questions by describing recent successes, while others propose projects in which these human rights can provide ethical ground for influencing the forces at play in development policies.

Chapter 7: The IPT Project - proposals to reform the TRIPS Agreement

Annette Kur and Marianne Levin

Subjects: development studies, law and development, law - academic, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law, law and development


When the TRIPS Agreement was concluded in 1994, it was welcomed by many as the ultimate breakthrough in long-standing efforts to elevate the threshold of international intellectual property (IP) protection. Whereas negotiations under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had proven fruitless for many decades, the recalcitrant attitude assumed by developing and threshold countries towards enhanced standards lost momentum in the harsher climate of trade talks. The declared aim of the Uruguay Round (1986-1994) was to narrow the gaps between IP laws in various parts of the world. Compared to the previous situation in international IP law, TRIPS thus triggered a "giant leap" in the area, entailing an unprecedented intensity of legislative efforts worldwide. However, it soon became obvious that TRIPS did not mark the end of IP history in any relevant regard.

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