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How has the World Trade Organisation's Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement impacted upon the laws and legal systems of the developing country WTO Member States?

How has the World Trade Organisation's Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement impacted upon the laws and legal systems of the developing country WTO Member States?

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Rachel Nazarin. Originally submitted for International Trade Law at Trinity College, Dublin, with lecturer Dr. Caoimhin Macmaolain in the category of Law
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Rachel Nazarin. Originally submitted for International Trade Law at Trinity College, Dublin, with lecturer Dr. Caoimhin Macmaolain in the category of Law

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

 
The Impact of the TRIPS Agreement on WTO Member States
 How has the World Trade Organisation's Trade Related Aspects of  Intellectual Property Rights Agreement impacted upon the laws and legal  systems of the developing country WTO Member States?
1
 
The Impact of the TRIPS Agreement on WTO Member States
1.Introduction
This essay will look at some of the impacts that the Trade Related Aspects of IntellectualProperty Rights Agreement (TRIPS) has had on developing country WTO members, particularly inrelation to restraint of trade, access to pharmaceuticals, counterfeit goods and the assumption thatdeveloping countries are at a general disadvantage when it come to the availing of the benefits of Intellectual Property (IP) rights protection.
1.1 The World Trade Organisation
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an international organization which is concernedwith free trade between nations. It does this through a system of agreements, which are the legalground-rules for international commerce. For a comprehensive understanding of its
modusoperandi
, it is worth revisiting its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT).
1
1.2General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Following failed attempts at the creation of the International Trade Organisation (ITO),GATT was negotiated at the UN Conference on Trade and Employment in 1949. GATT went on tospan 44 years and survived eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations.
2
At its inception, GATT's primary concern was the reduction of tariffs on the basis of most-favoured-nation treatment and'mutual exchange of benefits'. The first round of negotiations had a mere thirteen contractingmembers, but the rapid augmentation in contracting members over the years correlated with theexpansion of the ambit of GATT. The Kennedy and Tokyo Rounds (1964-67 and 1973-79respectively) introduced rules applicable to non-tariff measures that affected trade in goods, such as
1The World Trade Organisation website at www.wto.org (visited 27 October 2010) gives a concise summary of thefunctions and organisation of the WTO.2The original text of GATT, subject modifications in 1994 is still in effect under the WTO framework and can befound at http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/06-gatt_e.htm (visited 23 November 2010)
2
 
The Impact of the TRIPS Agreement on WTO Member States
subsidies and countervailing duties, government procurement, dumping and anti-dumping andvaluation techniques for the assessment of customs duties on merchandise.
3
The eighth and finalround was the Uruguay Round, which saw the birth of the World Trade Organisation.
1.3The Uruguay Round
The Uruguay Round spanned from 1986-93. This final round was deemed to be the mostambitious round to date. Spurred on by the United States, intellectual property (IP) was added to theagenda for this negotiating round; a first for GATT. The Uruguay Round contained so many newand progressive areas of interest that it had many ups and downs throughout various MinisterialConferences, however, eventually, seven years after the commencement of negotiations, theAgreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO Agreement) emerged. Annexed to itwere many agreements which related to trade in goods, trade in services, intellectual property protection, an understanding on the rules governing the settlement of disputes and a trade policyreview mechanism.
4
Many in the developed world welcome these new promised higher standards insuch a range of fields. deemed thisIn the word's of the Director-General, “Today, the world haschosen openness and cooperation instead of uncertainty and conflict.”
5
This essay will focus on the annexed agreement which established ground breaking IP protection.
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1.4 Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
The TRIPS Agreement was the culmination of seven years of negotiations which took place
3Andreas F. Lowenfeld, International Economic Law (2
nd
ed. Oxford University Press, 2001) at 71.4Michael Blakeney,
Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights: A Concise Guide to the TRIPS Agreement 
(Sweet & Maxwell, 1996) at 7.5See GATT,
 News of the Uruguay Round 
, 21 December 1993 at 1.6John H. Jackson, “The World Trade Organization: Watershed Innovation or Cautious Small Step Forward?” (1995)
The World Economy
11. Also, John H. Jackson,
The Jurisprudence of GATT and the WTO
(Cambridge UniversityPress, 2000), at 399 – 404.
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