The TRIPS Agreement is one of three pillars of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has been in force since 1995. The main reasons for the agreement are in order to reduce distortions and impediments to international trade, to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual propriety rights and to ensure that measures and procedures to enforce intellectual propriety rights do not themselves become barriers to trade. For the first time, all aspects of intellectual property are covered in one multilateral agreement: copyrights and neighboring rights, trademarks for goods and services, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, topographies for microchips as well as undisclosed information. The protection and enforcement of intellectual propriety rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conductive to social and economic welfare and to balance of rights and obligations.
Editor: Giovanni AVERSA