At the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in 2001, the least developed countries had an additional 10 years to implement the TRIPS patent provisions and the “undisclosed information” provisions on medicines. In July 2002, the WTO General Council agreed to waive the obligations of least developed countries for exclusive drug marketing rights by 1 January 2016. News from the TRIPS Council and intellectual property at the WTO, prepared for non-specialists. TRIPS require Member States to firmly protect intellectual property rights. For example, TRIPS: TRIPS apply to Member States the fundamental principles of international trade with regard to intellectual property, including national treatment and the most favoured treatment. TRIPS sets minimum standards for the availability, scope and use of seven forms of intellectual property: copyright, trademarks, geographic indications, industrial designs, patents, layout design of integrated circuits and undisclosed information (business secrets). It provides for permissible restrictions and exceptions to reconcile intellectual property interests with interests in other areas, such as public health and economic development. (The full text of the TRIPS Agreement, as well as an explanation of its provisions, are available on the WTO website at www.wto.org.) After the Uruguay Round, THE GATT became the basis for the creation of the World Trade Organization. Since ratification of TRIPS is a precondition for membership of the World Trade Organization, any country seeking difficult access to the World Trade Organization`s many international markets must adopt the strict intellectual property laws imposed by TRIPS. This is why TRIPS is the main multilateral instrument for the globalization of intellectual property laws. Countries such as Russia and China, which were very unlikely to see the Berne Convention, saw the prospect of WTO membership as a great temptation. In particular, the TRIPS requires WTO members to grant intellectual property rights to authors and other copyright holders as well as to neighbouring rights holders, i.e.
performers, phonograms and broadcasters; Geographical indications Industrial designs; Built-in switching designs Patents New plant varieties Brands; Trade names and undisclosed or confidential information.