The WTO, which often cooperates with other international organizations, regularly organizes symposia, training and other events on intellectual property, trade and other related topics. Details of the events can be found here. The WTO organizes hundreds of technical cooperation missions to developing countries each year. It also organizes numerous trade policy courses each year in Geneva for government officials. Regional seminars are held regularly in all regions of the world, with a particular focus on African countries. E-learning courses are also available. In 2017, about 18,500 participants benefited from WTO training aimed at improving understanding of WTO Agreements and global trade rules. Under the TRIPS Agreement, original or new industrial designs must be protected for at least 10 years. Holders of protected designs must be able to prevent the manufacture, sale or importation of goods bearing or incorporating a design which is a copy or essentially a copy of the protected design for commercial purposes. If the Government authorizes the placing on the market of the pharmaceutical or agricultural chemical in question during the transitional period, it must, under certain conditions, grant the patent applicant an exclusive right to market the product for five years or until a decision is taken on the grant of a product patent, whichever is shorter (Article 70.9). However, the agreement gives countries different deadlines to delay the implementation of its provisions.
These deadlines define the transition from before the entry into force of the Agreement (before 1 January 1995) to its application in the Member States. The most important transition periods are as follows: the system also tries to improve predictability and stability by other means. One way is to prevent the use of quotas and other measures to limit import volumes, as quota management can lead to more bureaucracy and accusations of unfairness. Another is to make countries` trade rules as clear and public (transparent) as possible. Many WTO agreements require governments to publicly disclose their policies and practices in the country or by notifying the WTO. Regular monitoring of national trade policy through the Trade Policy Review Mechanism is another way to promote transparency at the national and multilateral levels. Over the past 60 years, the WTO, founded in 1995, and its predecessor, GATT, have helped create a strong and prosperous international trading system, contributing to unprecedented global economic growth. The WTO currently has > members, 117 of which are developing countries or separate customs territories. WTO activities are supported by a secretariat of about 700 officials headed by the Director-General of the WTO.
The Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an annual budget of approximately 200 million francs (180 million dollars, 130 million francs). The three official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish. Intellectual property rights have traditionally been divided into two broad categories: on January 1, 1996, a cooperation agreement between WIPO and the WTO entered into force. The agreement provides for cooperation in three main areas: 1. Most-favoured-nation treatment: Treating others equally Under the WTO Agreements, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. Give someone a special favor (for example. B a lower rate of duty on one of its products), and you must do the same for all other WTO Members. Article 63.2 of the TRIPS Agreement requires Members to communicate the laws and regulations governing the subject matter of the Agreement (availability, scope, acquisition, enforcement and prevention of abuse of intellectual property rights). In November 2015, the TRIPS Council agreed to extend exemptions from the protection of pharmaceutical patents and undisclosed information for least developed countries until 1 January 2033 or until they cease to be members of the least developed countries, whichever is earlier. They are also exempt from the otherwise applicable obligations to accept the filing of patent applications and to grant exclusive marketing rights during the transitional period. This leads to a more prosperous, peaceful and responsible economic world.
Decisions in the WTO are generally taken by consensus of all Members and ratified by Members` parliaments. Trade disputes feed into the WTO dispute settlement process, where the focus is on the interpretation of agreements and commitments and how to ensure that Members` trade policies are consistent with them. This reduces the risk that disputes will turn into political or military conflicts. What procedures should members have in place to enforce these rights in their own territory What are intellectual property rights? Intellectual property rights are the rights granted to people over the creations of their minds. Many of the other WTO agreements aim to promote fair competition: in agriculture, intellectual property and services, for example. The Agreement on Government Procurement (a plurilateral agreement since it is signed by only a few WTO Members) extends competition rules to purchases by thousands of government entities in many countries. And so on. The WTO is a forum for further negotiations aimed at strengthening commitments in the field of intellectual property, as well as in other areas covered by the WTO Agreements. These laws are communicated to the TRIPS Council so that members can review their mutual legislation and promote transparency in members` intellectual property protection policies. The WTO`s trade dispute settlement procedure under the Dispute Settlement Agreement is crucial to enforcing the rules and thus ensuring smooth trade. Governments bring disputes before the WTO if they believe their rights under the WTO Agreements are being violated. The judgements of specially appointed independent experts are based on the interpretation of the agreements and on the obligations of the individual members.
The system encourages members to resolve their differences through mutual consultation. If this proves unsuccessful, they can follow a step-by-step procedure that includes the possibility of a decision by a panel of experts and the possibility of appealing the judgment for legal reasons. Confidence in the system is confirmed by the number of wto cases in more than 500 cases since the creation of the WTO, compared to the 300 disputes dealt with throughout the duration of the GATT (1947-94). Open markets can be beneficial, but it also requires adjustment. WTO agreements allow countries to make gradual changes through progressive liberalization. Developing countries generally have a longer period of time to meet their obligations. It all started with the trade in goods. From 1947 to 1994, GATT was the forum for negotiating lower tariffs and other barriers to trade; The GATT text established important rules, in particular non-discrimination. Since 1995, the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO and its Annexes (including the updated GATT) has become the WTO Framework Convention.
It contains annexes dealing with specific product sectors such as agriculture and specific issues such as product standards, subsidies and anti-dumping measures. An important recent addition was the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force in 2017. It may also clarify or interpret the provisions of the Agreement. The main working forum on the TRIPS Agreement is the TRIPS Council, which was established by the WTO Agreement. The TRIPS Council is responsible for the management of the TRIPS Agreement. In particular, it shall monitor the implementation of the Agreement. In its regular meetings, the TRIPS Council primarily serves as a forum for discussion among WTO Members on key issues. The TRIPS Council also meets in “special sessions”. These are intended for negotiations on a multilateral system for the notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits. Some areas are not covered by these agreements. In some cases, the prescribed standards of protection were found to be inadequate. Thus, the TRIPS Agreement significantly complements existing international standards.
How to settle intellectual property disputes between WTO Members WTO rules Agreements are the result of negotiations between Members. The current rate is largely the result of the 1986-94 Uruguay Round negotiations, which included a comprehensive revision of the original General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO system contributes to development. On the other hand, developing countries need the flexibility in time they need to implement the agreements on the system. And the agreements themselves inherit the old GATT provisions, which allow for special aid and trade concessions for developing countries. The TRIPS Council will conduct a general review of the Agreement after five years; however, it also has the power to review it at any time in the light of relevant new developments that may warrant modification and addition (Article 71). This principle is referred to as most-favoured-nation (most-favoured-nation) treatment (see box). .