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Intellectual Property and Its Conventions

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names and images used in commerce. It is protected in law by patent, copyright and trademark, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.

Concept of Intellectual Property (IP)

The term 'property' is of widest importance. The Supreme Court defined property to mean �the highest right a man can have to anything being that right which one has to lands or tenements, goods or chattels which does not depend on another's courtesy. It includes ownership of estates and interests in corporeal things, and also rights, such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and even rights 'in personam' capable of transfer or transmission, such as debts, and signifies a beneficial right to or a thing considered as having a money value, especially with reference to transfer or succession, and of their capacity of being acquired�.

Property may be corporeal and incorporeal. Corporeal property is always visible and tangible. It relates to material things. Whereas, incorporeal property is intangible and having no physical existence. Intellectual property rights deals with intangible property.

Intellectual property is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognised. Under IP Law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary and artistic works, discoveries, inventions and words, phrases, symbols and design rights, trade dress and in some jurisdiction trade secrets. IP cannot be defined or identified by its own physical parameters. Generally, trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets are referred to as intellectual Property.

History of IP

A Venetian Law of 1474 made the first systematic attempt to protect an invention in the form of patent. In the same century, Johannes Gutenberg contributed to the origin of the first 'Copyright System' in the world.

Although, the British Statute of Anne (1710) and the Statute of Monopolies (1624) are now seen as the origins of the copyright and patent law respectively. Modern usage of the terms dates back to 1867 with the founding of the North German Federation whose Constitution granted legislative power over protection of the IP to the federation, after the merger of Paris Convention (1883) and the Berne Convention (1886) as adopted IP in their common title.

Objectives of IP

  1. To protect the rights of the product, its innovators, inventors, research sponsors and the public.
  2. To eliminate the infringement, improper exploitation and abuse of the project's intellectual assets belonging to the product or the other persons.
  3. To optimize the environment and incentives for research and for the creation of new knowledge.
  4. To promote linkages with industry and stimulate research through developing and utilizing novel technologies and creative works for commercialization and plough back resources to the interested parties.
  5. To promote creativity and innovation.
  6. To ensure fair and equitable distribution of all benefits accruing from all innovations and inventions.

Types of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is usually divided into two branches:


Copyright is a bundle of rights given by the law to the creators of literacy, dramatic, musical and artistic works and the producers of cinematography and sound recordings. The rights provided under Copyright law include the rights of reproduction of the work, communication of the work to the public, adaptation of the work and translation of the work. Ideas or concepts do not have copyright protection. Copyrights of works of the countries mentioned in the International Copyright Order are protected in India, as if such works are Indian works.

The term of copyright in a work shall not exceed that limit which is enjoyed by it in its country of origin. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright. Application for copyright can be filed in Copyright office.

Computer software or programme can also be registered as a 'literary work'. As per Copyright Act, 1957 of India, 'literary work' includes computer programmes, table and compilations, including computer database.

Source Code has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products. The 2012 amendments make Indian Copyright Law compliant with the Internet Treaties like the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

Industrial Property

Industrial property means a property that is used for manufacturing, processing or warehousing. It is a kind of intellectual property. It relates to creations of the human mind. Such creations are inventions and industrial designs. Industrial property includes trademarks, patents, industrial designs, geographical indications, trade secrets, etc.

These are as follows:
  1. Trademark

    A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound (like jingles). A trademark cannot be offensive.

    According to Section 2(1) (zb) of the Trademarks Act, 1999 of India, a trademark should be capable of being represented graphically and should also be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others.

    The function of trademark is to give an indication to the purchaser or a possible purchaser as to the manufacture or quality of the goods or services, to give an indication of his eye or the trade source from which the goods or services come, or the trade hands through which they pass on their way to the market.

    In India, the first legislation in respect of trademark brought on the statute book was the Indian Merchandise Marks Act, 1889. This act was followed by the Trademarks Act, 1940. Accordingly, the Trademarks Act, 1999 was adopted which came into force on 15th September, 2003.
  2. Patent

    A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. This right is conferred by Patent office. It is a right for an inventor to exploit his invention subject to the provisions of Patents Act, 1970 for a limited period of time.

    The object of Patent law is to encourage scientific research, new technology and industrial progress. The price of the grant of monopoly is the disclosure of the invention at the Patent office, which after the expiry of the fixed period (i.e. 20 years) of the monopoly, passes into the public domain. The fundamental principle of patent law is that a patent is granted only for an invention which must have novelty and utility. It is essential for the validity of a patent that it must be the inventor's own discovery as opposed to mere verification of what was already known before the date of the patent. A patentable invention, apart from being a new manufacture, must also be useful.

    Protection of Inventions Act was adopted in 1883. These acts were consolidated in 1888 as the Inventions and Design Act. The Patents Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 21st September, 1965, which however lapsed. In 1967, again an amended bill was introduced, which was referred to as Joint Parliamentary Committee and on the final recommendation of the committee, the Patents Act, 1970 was passed. The Act came into force on 20th April, 1972.

    Some important facts related to patent are:

    Ever greening of Patent is not Allowed: In order to be patentable, an improvement on something known before or a combination of different matters already known, should be something more than a mere workshop improvement, and must independently satisfy the test of invention or an inventive step. It must produce a new result, or a new article or a better or cheaper article than before. The new subject matter must involve 'invention' over what-is-old.

    It Allows Compulsory Licensing: This strikes balance between two objectives, i.e. rewarding patentees for innovation and to make sure that patented products, particularly pharmaceutical ones, are available to public in developing and underdeveloped countries at affordable prices.

  3. Industrial Design

    As per WIPO, �in a legal sense, an industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. An industrial design may consist of three dimensional features, such as the shape of an article, or two dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colour.�

    Industrial designs refer to the creative activity which results in the ornamental or formal appearance of a product and 'design right' refers to a novel or original design that is accorded to the proprietor of a validly registered design. Industrial designs are an element of intellectual property. In principle, the owner of a registered industrial design or of a design patent has the right to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes. Such rights are perpetual.

    Under the TRIPS Agreement, minimum standards of protection of industrial designs have been provided. As a developing country, India has already amended its national legislation to provide for these minimal standards. The existing legislation on industrial designs in India is contained in the New Designs Act, 2000 and this Act serves its purpose well in the rapid changes in technology and international developments.

    India has also achieved a mature status in the 'field' of industrial designs and in view of globalization of the economy, the present legislation is aligned with the changed technical and commercial scenario and made to conform to international trends in design administration.

  4. Geographical Indications

    A Geographical Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possesses qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since, the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production.

    A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. For example, in the jurisdictions in which the Darjeeling geographical indication is protected, producers of Darjeeling tea can exclude the use of the term 'Darjeeling' for tea not grown in their tea gardens or not produced according to the standards set out in the code of practice for the geographical indication.

    However, a protected geographical indication does not enable the holder to prevent someone from making a product using the same techniques as those set out in the standards for that indication. Protection for a geographical indication is usually obtained by acquiring a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.

  5. Trade Secret

    Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge, may be considered as a trade secret. Trade secrets encompass manufacturing or industrial secrets and commercial secrets. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret.

    Depending on the legal system, the protection of trade secrets forms part of the general concept of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific provisions or case law on the protection of confidential information. The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, and advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes.

The final determination of what information constitutes a trade secret will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, and unfair practices in respect of secret information include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and breach of confidence.

Theories of Intellectual Property

There are four main justifications offered for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), which includes natural rights theory, utilitarian theory, ethic and reward theory, personality-based or personhood theory.

The Natural Rights Theory

It is the theory of bulk of right that is vested only on human being. In another sense, natural law is a doctrine of rights which are fundamental element to survive as human being on this universe. Specially, great contribution of natural law is human rights which exist in these days, in very powerful ways.

The natural rights theory considers that everyone has a natural property right on his ideas. A person has a right to own the creation of his mind in the same manner he owns creation of his labour. When a person is deprived of what he has created, there is a violation of IP.

The problem is that natural right theory doesn't cope with the temporal limitation of intellectual property rights. It is true that temporal limitation is applicable to intellectual property. Intellectual property is most of the time limited in time as to the protection accorded by law. The property in any article or reason of his own mechanical labour is never denied him, the labour of his mind is no less worth of the protection of the law. A person has natural right to the fruits of his labour and that this should be recognised as his property, whether in tangible or intangible term.

John Locke These

John Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the '

Father of Liberalism'.

John Locke has two theses:

  1. Everyone has property right in the labour of his own body. The labour of his body and the work of his hands are properly his.
  2. The appropriation of an unowned object (ideas or theories) arises out of application of human labour to that object.

Mixing one's own labour with unowned thing confers upon a property right in the whole thing. However, after appropriation, there must remain objects of similar quality in sufficient quantity for others i.e. 'Enough and as good left for other'.

Utilitarian Theory

Utilitarian is institution socially beneficial. Act utilitarianism is a utilitarian theory of ethics which states that a person's act is morally right, if and only if, it produces the best possible results in that specific situation.

Act utilitarianism is based on the principle of utility, which is the basis of all utilitarian theories and is best summed up in Bentham's well-known phrase, 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number'. It states that we have intellectual property systems because it has the effect on the betterment of the society. Its correctness is to be assessed in the economic success of the countries.

This theory is advocated by economists such as Bentham and Mill and assumes that the objective of any policy should be the attainment of the greatest good for the greatest number. However, utilitarian arguments can be cut for or against the claims of intellectual property rights. The utility gains from increased incentives for innovation must be weighed against the losses incurred from monopolization and their diminished diffusion. Thus, the problem arises, as the benefits gained cannot be measured against the losses suffered.

Such kinds of theories have never been successful as we would expect them to be. There is an objection from economists. When intellectual property is given exclusive rights, according to them, it is a creation of a monopoly right. Monopoly is contradistinguished with a perfectly competitive market. If monopoly is unrestricted, it will result in market crush.

Whenever the law gives an exclusive right to the innovator, the right holder is not enabled to control the problem. There are so many ways of resolving a problem. That means there is no intellectual property law which prohibits other innovators from innovating a solution to the same problem.

The Ethic and Reward Theory

The reward theory advocates rewarding individuals not only for their own labour, but also for the societal benefit of their effort. This theory justifies the exclusive rights of intellectual property with some moral and ethical aspect.

Indeed, the ethic requires a fair and proportional contribution for the effort that the creator has made for the social utility. The exclusive rights are an expression of gratitude to an author for doing more than society expects or feels that they are obliged to do.

However, since rewards are given to people who did something disagreeable and grievous for the benefit of the whole society, we could question whether creators and inventors truly deserve it. By admitting that they do, it is obvious that they definitively do not deserve it twice.

Some consider that the inventor is already remunerated considering that if the invention is really in advance, the time between the apparition of his invention and the first copies will give him enough profit to reward him. In this case, it is evident that the exclusive right is far more excessive.

The Personhood Theory

The fundamental premise of the personhood or personality theory is that, for a person to be able to develop fully, and strive towards self-actualization, it is required that he has control over some elements of the external world. Property rights, in this light, are a form of the necessary assurances of control. According to this theory, the personality of everyone builds itself in work and creation. This theory was propounded by Kant and Hegel. According to them, if one's artistic expressions are synonymous with one personality, then they are deserving of protection just as much as the physical person is deserving of protection, since in a sense they are a part of that physical person.

Hegel, who is the main source of this theory, claims that intellectual rights permit and protect the developing of the personality, which extends to the material things. In the same way, the copier is considered as a thief who offers to the public, someone else's spirit.

However, such a justification is deficient in the sense that the personality is neither linked nor affected by the outcome of the creation because it is not constitutive by itself of the human person. Indeed, when the creation is done, the work is independent from its creator but dependent on the public. As a matter of fact, the work obtains substance only because the others decided to attach importance to it.

The personality theory is described by Fisher as justifying the property rights �when and only when they would promote human flourishing by protecting or fostering fundamental human needs or interests�. Such needs or interests include privacy, individual self realisation, identity and benevolence. These needs have been identified by Fisher himself.

In all of the theories, the nature and characteristics of economic efficiency and social justice are greatly apart when the issue is attribution of rights. As the name indicates, economic efficiency implies an allocation of rights which complies with basic economic principles, namely the maximization of welfare.

Need of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have become important in the face of changing trade environment such as global competition, high innovation risks, short product cycle, need for rapid changes in technology, high investments in Research and Development (R&D) and highly skilled human resources, etc.

With the opening of trade in goods and services, there is a possibility of infringement leading to inadequate return to the creators of knowledge. IPR ensures that R&D costs and other costs associated with introduction of new products are recovered and enough profits are generated in the market.

International Conventions Pertaining to Intellectual Property

IP has both national and international dimension. For example, patents are governed by national laws and rules of a given country, while international convention on patents ensure minimum rights and provide certain measures for enforcement of rights by the contracting States.

The need for a system to protect IP internationally arose when foreign exhibitors refused to attend an International exhibition of inventions in Vienna in 1873, because they were afraid that their ideas would be stolen and exploited commercially in other countries. This led to the creation of the Paris convention for the protection of Industrial Property of 1883 which was the first major international treaty.

In 1886, copyright entered the international arena with the Berne convention for the protections of literary and artistic works. Both these conventions set up international bureaux to carry out administrative tasks. In 1893, these two small bureaux united to form an international organisation called the United International Bureaux for Protection of Intellectual Property, best known by its, french acronym, BIRPI which was the predecessor of WIPO.

WTO agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), came into force in 1995, which brought with new era in the multilateral protection and enforcement of IP rights.

Some important conventions pertaining to IP are as follows:

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)
The Paris Convention, adopted in 1883, applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition. This international agreement was the first major step taken to help creators ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries.

This convention created the provision of national treatment. Under the provisions on national treatment, the convention provides that, as regards the protection of industrial property, each contracting State must grant the same protection to nationals of other contracting States that it grants to its own nationals. Nationals of non-contracting States are also entitled to national treatment under the convention, if they are domiciled or have a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a contracting State.

The provisions of the Paris Convention may be sub-divided into four main categories:

  1. A first category contains rules of substantive law which guarantee a basic right known as the right to national treatment in each of the member countries.
  2. A second category establishes another basic right known as the right of priority.
  3. A third category defines a certain number of common rules in the field of substantive law which contain either rules establishing rights and obligations of natural persons and legal entities, or rules requiring or permitting the member countries to enact legislation following those rules.
  4. A fourth category deals with the administrative framework which has been set up to implement the Convention, and includes the final clauses of the Convention.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886)

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886. The Berne Convention deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. The provisions of the Berne Convention may be sub-divided into three main categories:
  1. Protection for every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain in any form.
  2. The right to translate makes adaptations and arrangements, perform in public, communicate to the public, broadcast and make reproduction.
  3. According to the Berne Convention, all works, except cinematography and photography, are copyrighted for a minimum term of 50 years after the death of an author, but longer terms may be provided to related parties.

Declaration relating to Article II and III of Appendix to Paris Act (1971)

On March 28, 2018, the World Intellectual Property Organisation has notified a declaration referring to the deposit by the Government of the Republic of India, on October 7, 1974, of its instrument of ratification on the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886), as revised at Paris on July 24, 1971 and to its subsequent deposits, on February 1, 1984 and June 7, 1984 of declarations according to which the Government of the Republic of India availed itself of the faculties provided for the Article II and III of the Appendix to the Berne Convention during the 10 years period that will expire on October 10, 2024.

The said declaration shall enter into force, with respect to the territory of the Republic of India, on March 28, 2018. The Article II of the Appendix would enable the Republic of India to substitute for the exclusive right of translation of a work, which has been published in printed or analogous forms of reproduction, granted by the competent authority, only for the purpose of teaching, scholarship or research.

The Article III of the Appendix would enable the Republic of India to substitute for the exclusive right of reproduction of a work, which has been published either in printed or analogous forms of reproduction, or in audio-visual form of lawfully made audio-visual fixations, to publish an edition which has not been distributed/on sale for a period of 6 months, except when either the translation is not published by the owner of the right of translation or with his authorization, or when the translation is not in a language general in use in India.

India has been the Member of Berne Convention since 28th April, 1928 and has been submitting the declaration as per Article II and III of the Appendix from time to time. The present notification is in continuation of India's earlier position.

Universal Copyright Convention, 1952

The Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) was adopted in 1952 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was developed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as an alternative to the Berne Convention.

While countries may continue to become members of the UCC, the UCC has lost some significance because most States are members of the World Trade Organisation and conform to regulations under TRIPS agreement.

Main features of UCC are as follows:

  1. No signatory nation should accord its domestic authors more favorable copyright treatment than the authors of other signatory nations, though no minimum protection for either domestic or foreign authors is stipulated.
  2. A formal copyright notice must appear in all copies of a work and consist of the symbol, the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication, a signatory nation, and may require further formalities, provided such formalities do not favour domestic over foreign works.
  3. The minimum term of copyright in member nations must be the life of the author plus 25 years, except for photographic works and works of applied art, which have a 10 year term.
  4. All adhering nations are required to grant an exclusive right of translation for a 7 year-period, subject to a compulsory license under certain circumstances for the balance of the term of copyright.

WIPO Convention, 1967

The WIPO Convention is the multilateral treaty that established the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The Convention was signed at Stockholm, Sweden, on 14th July, 1967 and entered into force on 26th April, 1970. The origins of WIPO go back to 1883 and 1886, when the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, respectively, were concluded. Both conventions provided for the establishment of an International Bureau. The two bureaus were united in 1893 and, in 1970, were replaced by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, by virtue of the WIPO Convention.

WIPO's two main objectives are:

  1. To promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide and
  2. To ensure administrative cooperation among the intellectual property Unions established by the treaties that WIPO administers.

India became a member of WIPO in 1975. It is currently a member of the following agreements administered by WIPO Berne Convention (1928), Phonograms Convention (1975), Nairobi Treaty (1983), Paris Convention (1998), PCT (1998), Budapest Treaty (2001), Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement (2013).

India has continued its constructive engagement with WIPO and participated actively in the meetings of the WIPO Standing Committees on Intellectual Property and Development, Patents, Copyright and Related Rights, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, the Inter-Governmental Committee on Traditional Knowledge, Folklore and Genetic Resources, the Advisory Committee on Enforcement, the PCT Working Group and other bodies dealing with organizational issues.

Patent Cooperation Treaty, 1970

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty, concluded in 1970. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting States. The PCT focuses on bringing the world within reach, on streamlining the process of fulfilling diverse formality requirements, to postpone the major costs associated with international patent protection, to provide a strong basis for patenting decisions and is used by the world's major corporations, research institutions and universities in seeking international patent protection.

The procedure under the PCT has the following advantages for the applicant:

  1. Presentation of a single 'international' patent application in compliance with the formal requirements of the PCT, made in one language and the payment of a single amount of fees.
  2. International Search where an International Searching Authority (ISA) analyses the invention and provides an opinion on the potential patentability.
  3. International publication in which the content of the international application is disclosed internationally, immediately after expiry of the period of 18 months from the earliest filing date (priority date).
  4. The office in charge of the 'International Preliminary Examining may perform at the request of the applicant, an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of the application.
  5. After the international phase is finalized, the application enters into the national phase, requesting 'the granting of the patent' in the National Patent Offices of the countries seeking protection. The granting of patents remains a matter of national patent offices.

India approved the PCT and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deposited the required instrument with the Director General of WIPO on September 7, 1998 and PCT became 'Applicable' to India from December 7, 1998.

TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, 1994

One of the most important agreements of WTO is the TRIPS Agreement. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

TRIP was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990 and is administered by the WTO. This agreement came into force on Ist January, 1995. This agreement sets down the minimum standard for many forms of intellectual property regulations. The agreement is, till date, the most comprehensive agreement of a multilateral nature on IP.

Following areas of Intellectual Property covered under the agreement are:

  1. Copyrights and related rights (like the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations)
  2. Trademarks (also service marks)
  3. Geographical indications (including appellations of origin)
  4. Industrial designs
  5. Patents (including protection of new variety of plants)
  6. Layout-designs of integrated circuits
  7. Undisclosed information (Trade secrets and Test data)
The agreement is a seven-part document containing complex provisions with respect to Intellectual Property rights.

Following is a brief description of the structure of the Agreement:

Part I The general provisions and the basic principles of National Treatment and Most Favoured Nation are covered under this part. (Article 1 to Article 8)
Part II The standards concerning availability, scope and use of Intellectual Property Rights is covered under this part. (Article 9 to Article 40)
Part III This part deals with the enforcement of IPRs. (Article 41 to Article 61)
Part IV This part addresses the provisions for acquiring and maintaining IPR. (Article 62),
Part V This part deals with prevention and settlement of disputes arising out of the provisions of the Agreement. (Article 63 to Article 64)
Part VI This part is concerned with transitional agreements. (Article 65 to Article 67)
Part VII This part of the Agreement concerns various institutional agreements. (Article 68 to Article 73)

Features of Agreement
Standards: In respect of each of the IP areas covered by the agreement, all member nations are obliged to provide a minimum set of standards for the protection of IPRs. Each area of IP is covered such that it clearly describes the main elements of protection, i.e. the subject-matter which seeks protection, rights which are to be conferred and permissible exceptions to such rights and also the minimum duration of protection.


Each member nation is obliged to provide domestic procedures and remedies with respect to protection of IPR. Further, the agreement lays down certain other provisions so that right holders can effectively enforce their rights. These provisions relate to civil and administrative procedures and remedies and detailed specifications as to special requirements related to border measures and criminal procedures.

Dispute Settlement:
All the disputes arising between members of WTO with respect to the obligations arising out of the TRIPS Agreement are subject to WTO's dispute settlement procedures.

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