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VI. TRIPS Dispute Settlement

Disputes between WTO Members concerning obligations under the TRIPS Agreement are subject to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. The rules that govern the settlement of disputes between Members of the WTO are contained in Articles XXII and XXIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes as contained in Annex 2 of the Marrakesh Agreement. A table below lists dispute settlement cases that have initiated under the TRIPS Agreement.

Article 64.2 of the TRIPS Agreement delayed the application of so-called non-violation and situation complaints referred to in subparagraphs 1(b) and 1(c) of Article XXIII of GATT 1994 to TRIPS disputes for a period of five years from the entry into force of the WTO Agreement. Article 64.3 instructed the TRIPS Council to examine the scope and modalities for such complaints during that time period and make recommendations to the Ministerial Conference for approval.  This "moratorium" on the use of non-violation and situation complaints has been extended a number of times, most recently by the Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013.  This latest decision is available below.  In addition, the documents below contain a WTO Secretariat summary note of the points raised by Members in the Council's substantive discussion on non-violation and situation complaints.

  • Non-Violation and Situation Complaints — Summary Note by the Secretariat (IP/C/W/349/Rev.1)
  • TRIPS Non-Violation and Situation Complaints — Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013 (WT/L/906)