Why Is Trips Agreement Important

The agreement also recognises the divergent position of Member States with regard to their relative economic status, administrative capacities and technological base. As in other WTO agreements, developing countries have received special and differentiated treatment, in accordance with Part VI of the agreement, under “transitional arrangements”. While developed countries had to ensure compliance until 1 January 1996, developing and post-communist countries themselves gave themselves four more years to achieve this (with an additional five years for new patented products). In accordance with Article 66.1, the least developed countries (LDCs) had the opportunity to adopt the TRIPS agreement until 2006, with the possibility of further extensions; The Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health in 2001 subsequently authorized an additional ten years for medicines for least developed countries (WTO, 2001). Article 66.2 now expressly advocates the transfer of technology from developed to least developed countries to support the creation of a viable technological base, and Article 67 requires developed countries to provide technical and financial assistance to facilitate the implementation of the agreement. Some areas are not covered by these agreements. In some cases, the prescribed standards of protection were found to be insufficient. The TRIPS agreement therefore significantly complements existing international standards. The TRIPS agreement was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) from 1986 to 1994. Its reception was the culmination of an intensive lobbying program by the United States, supported by the European Union, Japan and other developed nations. Campaigns of unilateral economic support under the system of generalized preferences and the constraint under Section 301 of the Trade Act have played an important role in combating competing political positions favoured by developing countries such as Brazil, but also Thailand, India and the Caribbean basin countries.

The U.S. strategy to link trade policy to intellectual property standards can be attributed to the entrepreneurial spirit of Pfizer executives in the early 1980s, who mobilized companies in the United States and made maximizing intellectual property privileges the top priority of U.S. trade policy (Braithwaite and Drahos, 2000, Chapter 7). While pressure from the chemical, pharmaceutical and entertainment industries led to a “quiet revolution” from the 1970s in strengthening the protection of intellectual property authorities in the United States, corporate lobbyists have also tried to take the issue to the global level (Archibugi- Filippetti, 2010).

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