Procedures for notifying and sharing information: beneficiaries, national treatment

The TRIPS Agreement allows WTO members to make exceptions to the normal principles on beneficiaries — individuals or companies whose work is eligible for protection — and “national treatment” — broadly, non-discrimination between foreigners and a country’s nationals. It says WTO members must notify the TRIPS Council — in other words the WTO’s membership — when it makes these exceptions.

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Notifications under Articles 1.3 and 3.1  

Article 1.3 of the TRIPS Agreement defines whose intellectual property must be eligible for the protection under the agreement. Article 3.1 requires national treatment to be given to these people or companies. The two articles allow members to make use of options for defining beneficiary persons and giving national treatment, provided that notifications are made to the TRIPS Council. Notifications made under Articles 1.3 and 3.1 are circulated in the IP/N/2/* series of documents. Further background information on these notification possibilities can be found in document IP/C/W/5 (download Word, pdf).

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