Implications of Geographical Indications in WTO on Developing Countries

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One of the most important developments in the millenium that had far reaching implications in the world economic systems is the formation and functioning of the WTO. To say the least, the economic history of the human kind can conveniently be divided into pre WTO era and post WTO era. While the WTO regime is compelling every country in the world to readjust, reformat, redesign their economic system to synchronise with WTO regime. Those countries are also doing considerable amount of research for developing propositions, positions and formulations to develop appropriate strategies to meet the challenges of WTO regime and to assure fair share of benefits arising out of the new international economic order. The recent developments at the WTO, in other international fora, and in many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreement negotiations have been gaining importance not only for the developed countries but also for the developing countries as well.
The TRIPS Agreement under WTO, which came into force on 1 January 1995, is the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property. It covers the main categories of intellectual property rights, establishes standards of protection as well as rules on enforcement, and provides for the application of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism for the resolution of disputes between WTO Members. The intellectual property areas covered by the TRIPS Agreement are: copyrights and related rights; trademarks; geographical indications; industrial designs; patents; the lay-out design of integrated circuits; and undisclosed information (including trade secrets). Every region has its claim to fame. Christopher Columbus sailed from Europe to seize the wealth of rich Indian spices. English breeders imported Arabian horses to create Derby winners. China silk, Dhaka Muslin, Venetian Glass all were much sought after priceless treasures. The reputation of every product was carefully built up and painstakingly maintained

References: • Article by Felix Addor, Nikolaus Thumm and Alexandra Grazioli, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in the IPTS Report(May 2003) • Article by Dr. Dwijen Rangnekar, Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Policy, University College of London. • Various issues of Yojana and Kurukshetra • Money, Banking, International Trade and Public Finance by M.L. Jhingan . • Essentials of Business Environment by K. Aswatthappa . • Internet

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