Trade and Development Series No. 13

Review of the TRIPS Agreement: Fostering the Transfer of Technology to Developing Countries
by Carlos M. Correa

The TWN Trade and Development Series is a series of papers published by Third World Network on trade and development issues that are of public concern, particularly in the South. The series is aimed at generating discussion and contributing to the advancement of appropriate development policies oriented towards fulfilling human needs, social equity and environmental sustainability.

No. of pages: 48
Size: 16.5 X 24 cm
ISBN: 983-9747-50-9
Year Published: 2001

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About the book:

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), part of the family of agreements within the folds of the World Trade Organization, is the most comprehensive international instrument on intellectual property rights (IPRs), setting standards on both the availability of rights and their enforcement in WTO Member countries. The strengthened and expanded protection of IPRs ushered in by the TRIPS Agreement does not, however, seem to have yielded much benefit to developing countries but has instead raised new concerns and problems with regard to implementation of the TRIPS rules.

This has prompted developing countries to put forward various proposals for reviewing the Agreement to balance the task of protecting IPRs with the promotion of development objectives. This paper examines the review proposals made on different aspects of the Agreement, according particular emphasis to the area of technology transfer.

Given that the North-South technological gap continues to grow despite - or perhaps because of - enhanced IPRs protection, the author suggests a systematic approach to effecting greater transfer of technology to developing countries, one that not only entails changes in the TRIPS provisions but also involves possible review of other WTO agreements.


1. Introduction
Long-term implications

2. Implementation Issues

3. The In-built Agenda
Geographical Indications
Biological Inventions

4. TRIPS-CBD interface

5. Transfer of Technology
Developing TRIPS provisions
Beyond TRIPS

6. Main conclusions

About the author:

Professor Carlos Correa is Director of the University of Buenos Aires' Masters Programme on Science and Technology Policy and Management. Trained as both a lawyer and an economist, he has acted as a consultant to numerous governments and international agencies.