n Law, Democracy & Development - trade or trade? The world trade organisation, human rights and development (Part 2)

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



The TRIPS Agreement (or "TRIPS") was adopted in 1994 following intense pressure exerted by the US and other industrialized countries. Prior to the adoption of TRIPS, the international framework for the regulation and protection of intellectual property rights consisted of a few GATT rules and a number of conventions, most of which were and still are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). At the national level, patent protection varied between countries. While some countries granted patents for pharmaceutical product and process inventions, others allowed patent protection only with respect to process inventions. Many did not grant any form of protection for inventions in the pharmaceutical sector. Further, the period of patent protection varied significantly between countries.

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