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Discuss the various aspects of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
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Business and Its Environment
Edition: 7th
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Intellectual property rights include copyrights, patents, trademarks, brand names and logos, industrial designs, semiconductor circuit designs, and trade secrets. Such rights allow individuals and firms to capture the benefits from their efforts to create new concepts and products; infringement of these rights reduces the incentives to create. TRIPS provides broad protection and is included in the WTO dispute settlement system, allowing trade sanctions to be imposed in the event of violations. Because many countries had weak domestic laws for protecting intellectual property rights, developing countries were given 5 years to comply and the least developed countries were given 11 years. Intellectual property is a contentious issue between developed and developing countries. Many developing countries believe that intellectual property rights allow companies to unfairly preclude their countries from obtaining important products such as pharmaceuticals that are priced beyond their means. TRIPS includes sections that allow a country to invoke compulsory licensing and to import generic versions of drugs in the event of a public health emergency. As an example of the contentious nature of intellectual property rights, under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization, a unit of the United Nations, a treaty providing protection for intellectual property was negotiated. Developing nations, however, initially refused to sign it, but a negotiated 2004 accord led to 183 signatories.
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