Keywords: agreement on trade–related aspects of intellectual property rights, World Trade Organization, WTO, patent law, international intellectual property, HIV, AIDS, TRIPS patent provisions, developing countries, patent rights, copyright laws, generic drugs, intellectual property rights, IPR, IP law, medications, patent protection
TRIPS: balancing privacy and public welfare on the international stage
In intellectual property law, the agreement on trade–related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) has become the ultimate tool for international enforcement. However, this product of the WTO is far from perfect. This article focuses on TRIPS' patent provisions and the effect its restrictiveness has on developing countries as they struggle with populations with HIV/AIDS. An analysis of these issues show that TRIPS provisions placed on countries as they transition into the WTO, like length of patent rights and strict copyright laws, prevent them from: obtaining generic versions of drugs, legally adhering to the requirements of the WTO, and competing economically with more developed member states. As long as medications fall under patent protections, TRIPS will continue to be important force in intellectual property law. This article serves to illustrate the need of TRIPS adapt to the concerns of developed countries as well as the needs of the developing.