TRIPS and pharmaceutical patents: fact sheet

The WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) attempts to strike a balance between the long term social objective of providing incentives for future inventions and creation, and the short term objective of allowing people to use existing inventions and creations.

The agreement covers a wide range of subjects, from copyright and trademarks, to integrated circuit designs and trade secrets. Patents for pharmaceuticals and other products are only part of the agreement.

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