Among the newer issues in international trade policy is
protection and requirements related to intellectual property.
Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main
areas: copyrights and industrial property. Copyrights are given to
authors of literary and artistic works (books, musical
compositions, paintings, sculpture, films, etc.) for a minimum of
50 years after the death of the author in order to encourage and
reward creative work. Copyrights also protect the rights of
performers (actors, singers, and musicians), producers of
phonograms (sound recordings), and broadcasting organizations.
Industrial property can usefully be divided into two main areas.
One covers trademarks (which distinguish the goods or services of
one undertaking from those of others) and Geographical Indications (which identify a
good as originating in a specific place and possessing a
characteristic that is essentially due to its geographical origin).
The other area involves the granting of patents on industrial
property to stimulate innovation, design, and the creation of
technology. Into this category fall inventions, industrial design,
and trade secrets.
Trademarks and geographical indications (GIs) are the two
intellectual property rights that most greatly affect agricultural
trade. For example, negotiations on the establishment of a
multilateral system of notification and registration of
geographical indications for wines and spirits is taking place
during the Doha Development Agenda under the TRIPS Agreement.
Trademarks and GIs are also issues in the areas of
technical barriers to trade and
Other Relevant Multilateral Agreements: