Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

TRIPS Agreement

  • Daniel GervaisEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_563


The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) was negotiated between 1986 and 1994 during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which led to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TRIPS Agreement sets minimum levels of several types of intellectual property (IP) protection, including copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design, and trade secrets protection. Membership in the WTO includes an obligation to comply with the TRIPS Agreement. According to the WTO, the Agreement attempts to strike a balance between long-term social benefits to society of increased innovations and short-term costs to society from the lack of access to inventions (World Trade Organization (n.d.) Intellectual property: protection and enforcement. Retrieved from understanding the WTO: the agreements: http://wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm7_e.htm).

This entry considers this balance by looking at the two poles of intellectual property policy: providing incentives to increase innovation and optimizing access to inventions both for consumptive use and for potentially innovation-increasing experimentation. This entry also surveys the notion of calibration, the idea that every country or region should adapt its regulatory framework to reflect its own strengths and weaknesses in optimizing what one might refer to as its innovation policy. A calibration approach suggests that providing innovation incentives and optimizing access are not mutually exclusive objectives.

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Further Reading

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  4. Ragavan S (2012) Patent and trade disparities in developing countries. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt Intellectual Property ProgramVanderbilt University Law SchoolSouth NashvilleUSA