International Trade Meets Intellectual Property: The Making of the TRIPS Agreement (Abridged)

Case Solution

Charan Devereaux, Robert Lawrence, Michael Watkins
Harvard Kennedy School ()

This is a shortened version of note NR15021661.0. The focus of international trade negotiations used to be on quotas and tariffs, the amount of a certain product that could be imported, and the tariffs that were applied at the border. In the course of the deepest integration of the world economy, attention has shifted from tariffs and quotas to the complex policies and rules that influence the international movement of goods, services and investments. Such policies include the protection of intellectual property rights. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), negotiated during the Uruguay Round in 1994, significantly expanded the scope of the trade regime by introducing a comprehensive set of rules governing global trade in intellectual property. Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are now required to introduce guidelines for the protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights. While countries are free to offer even more protection than the TRIPS Agreement requires, the agreement sets minimum standards. 1661.3

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