The Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) is comprehensive in giving cover to all areas of technology, property, patents, trademarks, copyrights and so on.
The TRIPs encourages upon the member country’s sovereign right to frame its own legislation on intellectual property matters. This clause has been included on account of persistent demand from the developed and industrialized countries.
The TRIPs Agreement covers seven categories of intellectual property rights:
(iii) Geographical Indications
(iv) Industrial Designs
(vi) Integrated Circuits
(vii) Trade Secrets
The copyright helps the parties to protect their literary and artistic works. Computer programmes, are also included in literary works. Authors of Computer programmes, performers on a phonogram, producers of phonograms (sound recordings) and broadcasting organizations are to be given the right to authorize or prohibit the commercial rental of their works to the public.
These similar exclusive rights also apply to the films. The protection for performers and producers of sound recordings are to be for not less than 50 years and for broadcasting organization for at least 20 years.
A sign or any combination of signs, capable of distinguishing the goods or services is called trade mark. Such sign, in particular works including personal names, letters, numerals, figurative elements and combination of colours as well as combinations of such signs are eligible for registration as trademarks.
The owner of a registered trademark has the exclusive right to present all third parties not having the owner’s consent from using in the course of trade identical or similar signs for goods or services. Initial registration and each renewal of registration, of a trademark are for a term of not less than seven years. The registration of a trademark is renewable indefinitely.
(iii) Geographical Indications:
It refers to the identity of goods a originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory where give quality or reputation of the goods is essentially attributed to its geographical origin.
Members are required to provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent the use of any indication which misleads the consumer as to the origin of goods and any use which would constitute an act of unfair competition.
(iv) Industrial Designs:
Industrial designs are protected for a period of 10 years. Owners of protected designs would be able to prevent the manufacture, sale or importation of articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy of the protected design for commercial purposes.
Patents shall available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application. Patent owners shall have the right to assign or transfer by succession, the patent and to conclude licensing contracts. The Agreement requires 20 years patent protection.
(vi) Integrated Circuits:
The TRIP’S Agreement provides protection to the layout designs of integrated circuits for a period of 10 years. But the protection shall lapse 15 years after the creation of the layout design.
(vii) Trade Secrets:
Trade Secrets having commercial value shall be protected against breach of confidence and other acts. Test data submitted to governments in order to obtain marketing approval for pharmaceuticals or agricultural chemicals shall be protected against unfair commercial use.