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


What are the main principles of the TRIPS agreement and how does this affect companies’ decisionmaking on the acquisition of intellectual property rights abroad?

As with other WTO Agreements, the principle of non-discrimination is a prominent feature of the TRIPS Agreement. Implementation is through national treatment and most-favoured nation treatment. National treatment (i.e. the principle by which, in commercial terms, a country must extend the same treatment to persons from other countries as it does to its own nationals) is important because it ensures that companies interested in obtaining protection for their IP in overseas markets will obtain the same level of protection (e.g. duration and scope) as nationals of that country.

English Spanish, French

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