TRIPS [ trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights ]
material on the WTO website.

Information on intellectual property in the WTO, news and official records of the activities of the TRIPS Council, and details of the WTO’s work with other international organizations in the field:

See also:
> Negotiations, implementation and development: the Doha agenda
> Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration

TRIPS news  back to top

News about the TRIPS Council and intellectual property in the WTO, prepared for non-specialists.

> Follow specific TRIPS issues, e.g: TRIPS and health; geographical indications; protection for plants and animals, traditional knowledge and biodiversity; etc. See below.


Intellectual property rights and the TRIPS Agreement  back to top

What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property rights are the rights given to people over the creations of their minds.

Basic introduction to the WTO’s intellectual property (TRIPS) agreement
From “Understanding the WTO”, an introduction to the WTO, written for non-specialists.

Economics of intellectual property — primers
A series of informal guides to support technical assistance on economic concepts and analysis for policy issues related to intellectual property and trade
(1) Relevant concepts (pdf). (2) (Coming soon)

A more detailed overview of the TRIPS Agreement
“The TRIPS Agreement ... is to date the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property ...”

The text of the TRIPS Agreement
Browse or download from the legal texts gateway.
The TRIPS Agreement is Annex 1C of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.

Other intellectual property conventions that the TRIPS Agreement refers to:
The Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Rome Convention, and treaty on integrated circuits.

Find decisions of WTO bodies concerning the TRIPS Agreement in the Analytical Index — Guide to WTO Law and Practice

Frequently-asked questions on TRIPS
Check to see if the answers to your questions are in one of these.

Videos on TRIPS


Specific TRIPS issues  back to top

News and explanations of some current TRIPS issues.

Overview: Current issues in intellectual property

TRIPS and public health 

Geographical indications

Article 27.3(b), protection for plants and animals, traditional knowledge and biodiversity

Non-violation complaints (Article 64.2)

Technology transfer

Climate change and the WTO intellectual property (TRIPS) agreement

Least developed countries’ priority needs
An overview of the process of identifying and responding to least developed countries’ needs, with links to working materials, updates and tools for coordinating the work.


TRIPS work in the WTO  back to top

Work of the TRIPS Council
The TRIPS Council administers the TRIPS Agreement. It consists of all WTO members.
Follow the link above to search for minutes of the council’s meetings, its reports to the WTO General Council, and other TRIPS Council documents.

TRIPS Council “special sessions”
These are for negotiations on a multilateral system for notifying and registering geographical indications for wines and spirits, under the Doha Development Agenda.
Follow the link above to search for minutes of the meetings, reports and other documents from the negotiations.

Notifications — members’ transparency toolkit
Members share information on their intellectual property laws, regulations and practices through notifications submitted to the TRIPS Council. The toolkit includes procedures for sharing information, and other aids for members’ transparency work.

Review of members’ implementing legislation
Members have to notify the TRIPS Council about their relevant laws and regulations. This helps the Council review the agreement’s operation.

Technical cooperation in the TRIPS area
In particular, developed countries’ commitments under the TRIPS Agreement on technical cooperation, and the work of the TRIPS Council in this area.


Disputes  back to top

Disputes citing the TRIPS Agreement
Disputes arising from the obligations under the TRIPS Agreement are subject to the WTO’s dispute settlement procedures.

History: derestricted Uruguay Round negotiating documents on TRIPS  back to top

On 15 May 2006, the General Council decided to make public all official documents issued under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This includes all official documents on TRIPS and other areas of the Uruguay Round negotiations. Information on how to access these documents can be found here.

As an alternative for TRIPS scholars, posted here in response to numerous requests, are the official documents on the subject from the 1986–94 Uruguay Round trade talks. They give scholars a picture of how the TRIPS Agreement came about. The documents include reports of meetings, other materials compiled by the GATT Secretariat, and communications from participants in the negotiations.


You can download the English documents bundled together in zip files:


Events back to top

The WTO, often collaborating with other international organizations, regularly holds symposiums, training sessions and other events on intellectual property, trade and other related subjects. Details of events are here.


Cooperation with other intergovernmental organizations back to top

See also:
> Observers in the TRIPS Council



> 25 October 2016
WHO, WIPO, WTO symposium to examine how to foster appropriate use of antibiotics, access and innovation — News item


> 28 October 2015
Trilateral Symposium on Public Health, Intellectual Property and TRIPS at 20: Innovation and Access to Medicines; Learning from the Past, Illuminating the Future — Programme and Background Material


> 27 October 2015
WHO, WIPO and WTO technical workshop on patentability criteria — Programme and Background Material


> 26 to 30 October 2015
Workshop on Trade and Public Health


> 15-26 June 2015
WIPO-WTO colloquium for teachers of intellectual property



 Regular Meetings of the  TRIPS Council



 Special Sessions of   the TRIPS Council