In particular, TRIPS obliges WTO Members to grant copyrights including authors and other copyright holders as well as holders of related rights, namely performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasters; geographical indications; industrial designs; Layout designs for integrated circuits; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade names and undisclosed or confidential information. TRIPS also lays down enforcement procedures, remedies and dispute settlement procedures. The protection and enforcement of all intellectual property rights must be consistent with the objectives of contributing to the promotion of technological innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology, for the mutual benefit of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner that promotes social and economic well-being and a balance between rights and obligations. Article 40 of the TRIPS Agreement provides that certain practices or conditions relating to intellectual property rights that restrict competition may have negative effects on trade and impede the transfer and dissemination of technology (paragraph 1). In accordance with the other provisions of the Agreement, Member States may take appropriate measures to prevent or control abusive and anti-competitive IPR licensing practices (paragraph 2). The Agreement provides for a mechanism where by which a country wishing to combat practices in which companies of another Member State participates shall enter into consultations with that other Member State and provide non-confidential information publicly available and relevant to the matter in question and other information at its disposal, subject to national law and the conclusion of satisfactory agreements on compliance with its confidentiality by the requirement. (paragraph 3). Similarly, a country whose companies are subject to such measures in another Member State may enter into consultations with that Member (paragraph 4). The TRIPS Agreement provides for minimum standards for the protection of industrial designs.
As a developing country, India has already amended its national legislation to establish these minimum standards. Unlike other intellectual property agreements, TRIPS has an effective enforcement mechanism. States can be disciplined by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. Article 26.2 allows Members to grant limited exemptions to industrial design protection, provided that such derogations do not unduly conflict with the normal exploitation of protected industrial designs and do not unduly affect the legitimate interests of the owner of the protected design, taking into account the legitimate interests of third parties. The Agreement on trade aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement between all Member States of the World Trade Organization (WTO). . . .