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Least Developed Countries and the TRIPS Agreement: Arguments for a Shift to Voluntary Compliance

Least Developed Countries and the TRIPS Agreement: Arguments for a Shift to Voluntary Compliance OMOLO JOSEPH AGUTU I. BACKGROUND Following years of intense lobbying, disagreements and a circus of back and forth arguments, intellectual property rights eventually found their way into the legal framework regulating global trade.1 This followed the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, which resulted in the Final Act and annexes that included the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) as Annex C.2 Although there were protracted contests in the course of the negotiations over the TRIPS Agreement between developing and developed countries,3 the forum also witnessed disagreements amongst the developed countries themselves.4 During the Uruguay negotiations, rifts started to emerge at a very early stage between developed and developing countries on the inclusion of intellectual property in the then General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade framework. Developed countries, keen to expand markets for their enterprises, argued for a comprehensive agreement embodied within the World Trade Organization (WTO) system (`the new system').5 On the other hand, developing countries, conscious of their underdeveloped structures and their need for more flexibility in dealing with aspects of their economies that are affected by the generation, appropriation and use of information, opposed such a scheme.6 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Least Developed Countries and the TRIPS Agreement: Arguments for a Shift to Voluntary Compliance

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2012
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2012.0044
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

OMOLO JOSEPH AGUTU I. BACKGROUND Following years of intense lobbying, disagreements and a circus of back and forth arguments, intellectual property rights eventually found their way into the legal framework regulating global trade.1 This followed the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, which resulted in the Final Act and annexes that included the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) as Annex C.2 Although there were protracted contests in the course of the negotiations over the TRIPS Agreement between developing and developed countries,3 the forum also witnessed disagreements amongst the developed countries themselves.4 During the Uruguay negotiations, rifts started to emerge at a very early stage between developed and developing countries on the inclusion of intellectual property in the then General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade framework. Developed countries, keen to expand markets for their enterprises, argued for a comprehensive agreement embodied within the World Trade Organization (WTO) system (`the new system').5 On the other hand, developing countries, conscious of their underdeveloped structures and their need for more flexibility in dealing with aspects of their economies that are affected by the generation, appropriation and use of information, opposed such a scheme.6

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2012

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