Dispute settlement in TRIPS: A two-edged sword

In the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations under the GATT, the negotiations on the TRIPS Agreement were not alone in making a slow start. IPRs were a radically new subject matter for the GATT. There was both uncertainty as to just what could be considered trade-related aspects of IPRs, and disagreement over the appropriateness of trying to incorporate them into a negotiation about goods. The constructive ambiguity of the mandate – necessary to achieve consensus at Punta del Este – led to strong disagreement over what did or did not fall within it. This disagreement continued throughout most of the negotiations, and was only attenuated towards the end.

Related Topics: Intellectual property ; The WTO
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