Achievements of Trips Agreement

The terms of the TRIPS Plus Agreement, which prescribe standards that go beyond the TRIPS Agreement, were also discussed. [38] These free trade agreements contain conditions that limit the ability of governments to introduce competition for generic manufacturers. In particular, the United States has been criticized for pushing protection far beyond the standards prescribed by the TRIPS Agreement. U.S. free trade agreements with Australia, Morocco, and Bahrain have expanded patentability by mandating the availability of patents for new uses of well-known products. [39] The TRIPS Agreement allows for compulsory licensing at a country`s discretion. U.S. free trade agreements with Australia, Jordan, Singapore, and Vietnam have limited the application of compulsory licenses to emergencies, antitrust remedies, and cases of non-commercial public use. [39] Although the TRIPS Agreement introduced harmonization, it did not create a world of unitary patent policies and levels of patent protection. That said, a number of countries could all comply with travel, but all have differences in the details of their national IP systems.

There are two reasons for this. First, the TRIPS Agreement is not an autonomous legal body, but an agreement that prescribes and prohibits different practices and leaves implementation to countries. For example, the TRIPS Agreement sets out a number of conditions that should be met when granting compulsory licenses, but how are these conditions implemented in national patent systems (What kind of behavior of patent holders is a reason for compulsory licenses? Can the Ministry of Health act alone? Should there be a health emergency and, if so, how is it determined and who explains it?) was determined on the spot. This means that the TRIPS Agreement has given countries policy options (Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, 2002; Correa, 2000), and countries could – and did – comply with the TRIPS Agreement differently. Second, the TRIPS Agreement dealt with most laws, not so much with enforcement practices. This means that countries may differ not only de jure (e.B the three policy levers or details of compulsory licensing regulations), but also de facto due to the application of their new laws. And there are indications of significant discrepancies between de jure and de facto levels of intellectual property protection (Maskus, 2000; Shadlen, Schrank & Kurtz, 2005). A recent study (Papageorgiadis & McDonald, 2019) shows that de jure IP protection differs significantly from de facto IP protection for several middle- and low-income countries. Figure 1 is taken from their paper and shows the two dimensions of de jure and de facto intellectual property rights on both axes.12 The TRIPS Agreement introduced intellectual property law into the multilateral trading system for the first time and is the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property to date. In 2001, developing countries, concerned that developed countries were insisting on too narrow an interpretation of TRIPS, launched a round table that resulted in the Doha Declaration. The Doha Declaration is a WTO declaration that clarifies the scope of TRIPS and states, for example, that the TRIPS Agreement can and should be interpreted in light of the objective of “promoting access to medicines for all”.

In the IB literature, there is a growing recognition that institutions are not always exogenous and rather develop with companies: as business behaviour begins to change, institutions also begin to adapt (Athreye, 2020; Cantwell, Dunning & Lundan, 2010; Peng et al., 2017). However, the introduction of the TRIPS Agreement and the acceptance of seemingly strict agreements and the transition to stronger intellectual property for middle- and low-income countries have been exogenously motivated. Once the status quo changed and the new institutions were in place, the actors changed their strategy and new political opportunities emerged (as already mentioned). The TRIPS Agreement is not the first international agreement on intellectual property (IP); the Paris Convention (patents), the Madrid system (trademarks) and the Berne Convention (copyright) have existed since the late 1800s. However, travel can be understood as a fundamental break in many ways. The TRIPS Agreement is much more in-depth and detailed, which restricts many more dimensions of national ip policy from outside than previous agreements. In addition to establishing common commitments on basic principles, as had been done by previous international agreements, the TRIPS Agreement contains specific provisions and prohibitions for national policies in a detailed set of articles.1 Regardless of its title, the TRIPS Agreement deals with national intellectual property measures, whether or not they are “trade-related”. The TRIPS Agreement is also stronger and more binding than previous agreements, as the cost of non-compliance is considerable.

Since the inclusion of the TRIPS Agreement in the WTO means that it is subject to the WTO dispute settlement system, which allows trade sanctions against countries that break their rules, non-compliance with the rules can have economically painful consequences. The establishment of comprehensive and binding rules on national IP policy marks a shift from “international” IP governance to “global” IP governance (Maskus, 2014; Drahos, 1997) and, above all, an important step towards global harmonization of national policies and practices in the definition and protection of intellectual property rights. In addition to the basic intellectual property standards created by the TRIPS Agreement, many countries have concluded bilateral agreements to introduce a higher standard of protection. This set of standards, known as TRIPS+ or TRIPS-Plus, can take many forms. [20] The general objectives of these agreements are as follows: since the entry into force of the TRIPS Agreement, it has been criticized by developing countries, scientists and non-governmental organizations. While some of these criticisms are directed at the WTO in general, many proponents of trade liberalization also view the TRIPS Agreement as bad policy. The concentration effects of the TRIPS Agreement`s wealth (money from people in developing countries to copyright and patent holders in developed countries) and the imposition of artificial scarcity on citizens of countries that would otherwise have had weaker intellectual property laws are common ground for such criticism. Other criticisms have focused on TRIPS` inability to accelerate the flow of investment and technology to low-income countries, an advantage advanced by WTO members in the run-up to the agreement. World Bank statements suggest that the TRIPS Agreement has not led to a demonstrable acceleration of investment in low-income countries, although this may have been the case for middle-income countries.

[33] The long duration of TRIPS patents was assessed for an unreasonable slowdown in generic substitute market entry and competition. In particular, the illegality of preclinical studies or the submission of samples for approval until a patent expires have been accused of stimulating the growth of a few multinationals rather than producers in developing countries. In considering the dynamics of THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRIPS Agreement at the national level, both in the introduction and in the application of new laws, it is worth highlighting how the new international agreement has changed the nature of domestic policy by giving new authority and meaning to technology-intensive sectors. This was done in the same way that Baldwin (2016) argues that the principle of reciprocity in gatt helped change political interests to create a juggernaut of tariff-reducing behavior between nations. Prior to the TRIPS Agreement, national patent policy was largely influenced by strong consumer groups and import-substituting industrial sectors. Innovators (current, young and emerging) have rarely had a say in the development of national IP policies, which in many developing countries are not so much focused on promoting innovation as on ensuring that knowledge, information and technology-intensive goods are accessible to consumers and contribute to local industry. By imposing changes in national policies towards stronger intellectual property protection, the TRIPS Agreement served as an exogenous shock that changed the distribution of income between innovative and non-innovative enterprise groups.14 Once enhanced intellectual property protection was introduced, innovative enterprises/sectors benefited from the new agreements, while companies based on previous agreements, have seen their margins shrink and some have even left non-innovative companies. .