Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS

© Martial Trezzini/Keystone
The TRIPS agreement (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) comprises provisions on the protection of patents, copyrights, trademarks, author’s rights etc. and regulates their implementation.

TRIPS bans the practice of technological copying that helped Switzerland and later various Asian countries achieve economic growth/recovery.

It was industrial countries – with Switzerland at the forefront – supported by the lobbies of pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies that championed the TRIPS agreement at the GATT Round in Uruguay, against the will of the majority of developing countries. The countries of the South finally accepted the industrial countries’ demands because they hoped to receive benefits for their agricultural and textile industries as part of the overall package. These hopes remain unfulfilled.

Public Eye addresses topics of particular importance to development policy, such as access to affordable drugs or patents on seed. In particular, our organisation calls:

  • for the treaty text to be amended to remove any possible negative ramifications from the agreement on food security, the environment or the provision of healthcare.
  • for an end to patents on life, non-biological and micro-biological procedures.
  • for measures to be taken to ensure that the TRIPS agreement does not jeopardise the aims of other international treaties, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).