Secrets of Intellectual Property

A Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters

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Guide in form of questions and answers dealing with intellectual property (IP) issues, aimed at small and medium-sized exporters and trade support institutions – explains basic concepts and principles regarding patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, confidential business information, and geographical indications; covers questions relevant to ownership of rights by employees, contracting, licensing and technology transfer; highlights importance of IP issues when drawing business, marketing and export plans and strategies, and deals with IP rights protection abroad; looks at link between IP and quality regulations and standards, packaging and labelling, electronic commerce and use of information technology; considers valuation and financial aspects of IP rights; focuses on the application of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).

English Spanish, French


Are the standards of protection of intellectual property rights provided by The TRIPS agreement already applicable in all members of the WTO?

When the WTO Agreements took effect on 1 January 1995, developed countries were given one year to ensure that their national IP laws and practices were in conformity with the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement. Developing countries and (under certain conditions) transition economies were given five years (to 1 January 2000) and least-developed countries 11 years (to 1 January 2006), later extended by a further 10 years for certain products (to 1 January 2016).

English French, Spanish

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