The term of protection is at least ten years (Article 26(3)). The amount of formulation allows, for example, to divide the duration into two periods of five years. Following the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, the World Trade Organization entered into force on 1 January 1995. In addition to the Agreements on Goods and Services (GATT) and Services (GATS), the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is one of the three pillars of the new multilateral trading system (WTO, 2008: 24). Although it is the first comprehensive and enforceable global agreement on intellectual property rights (IPR), it has been the subject of much criticism since its inception (Sell & Prakash, 2004). This document describes the main arguments for and against TRIPS, which gives a skeptical assessment of its legitimacy and effectiveness. It begins with the main arguments in favour of TRIPS before critically examining the recent history of the agreement and evidence of intellectual property in general. The paper then discusses the impact of TRIPS on economic development and concludes that the criticisms leveled at the agreement are largely convincing. Data exclusivity and other TRIPS Plus provisions are often encouraged in the context of free trade agreements between developed and developing countries. Frequent examples of TRIPS Plus provisions are the extension of the term of a patent beyond the minimum income of twenty years or the introduction of provisions limiting the use of compulsory licences or limiting competition with generic medicines.
However, the TRIPS Agreement is based on a certain conception of intellectual property as an idea and internationalisation can be problematic. It is perhaps in the narrow sense that different societies place greater priority on the common good on a wide range of issues and, more broadly, that some forms of „traditional knowledge” (TK) shared among indigenous communities do not correspond to the codified Western model of individual and exclusive ownership (Michalopoulos, 2003: 17-18). Recent advances in biotech products have highlighted this contrast: for Western proponents, modern genetic research aimed at improving human well-being is a quite respectable „bioprosperction”, a form of intellectual property that falls within the framework of TRIPS. On the other hand, for indigenous peoples, the patenting of TK resources such as neem extract[ii] can be considered a form of „biopiracy” and constitutes „the incorrect repackaging of traditional knowledge to guarantee the monopolistic rents of the biopirate while excluding the original innovator from a right to these rents” (Isaac & Kerr, 2004). WHAT IS DECISIVE is that, at present, TRIPS does not provide a consensual interpretation of what constitutes traditional knowledge or how it should be protected (ICRP, 2002b: 73-87). The 2002 Doha Declaration reaffirmed that the TRIPS Agreement should not prevent members from taking the necessary measures to protect public health. Despite this recognition, less developed countries have argued that flexible TRIPS provisions, such as compulsory licensing, are almost impossible to enforce. Less developed countries, in particular, cited their young domestic manufacturing and technology industries as evidence of the imprecision of the policy. It is also important to note that the concept of intellectual property, as defined in the TRIPS Agreement, is based on a certain interpretation of intellectual property rights, which has developed in the Western tradition alone in recent decades. Intellectual property was initially highlighted as an international problem in the 1960s and 1970s by the G77 of developing countries when it unsuccessfully sought, as part of the call for a new international economic order, the dilution of existing protection of intellectual property rights in order to reduce the technological gap with the developed world (May & Sell, 2006: 155-156). .