The Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an agreement of international law between all World Trade Organization (WTO) member states. It sets minimum standards for the regulation of different forms of intellectual property by national governments, as is the case for nationals of other WTO member states.  The TRIPS agreement was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990 and is managed by the WTO. This contribution examines this balance by considering the two poles of intellectual property policy: encouraging innovation and optimising access to inventions for both consumer use and experiments that can improve innovation. This entry also examines the notion of calibration, the idea that each country or region should adapt its legal framework to reflect its own strengths and weaknesses in optimizing what might be called its innovation policy. A calibration approach suggests that incentives for innovation and optimization of access are not mutually exclusive objectives. The Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was negotiated between 1986 and 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TRIPS agreement sets minimum levels for different types of intellectual property protection, including copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design and trade secret protection. WTO membership implies an obligation to respect the TRIPS agreement. According to the WTO, the agreement seeks to strike a balance between long-term social benefits to society through increased innovation and short-term costs to society due to lack of access to inventions (World Trade Organization: Intellectual Property: Protection and Enforcement. Appeal of the WTO agreement: agreements: wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm7_e.htm).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the international organization that deals with trade rules between nations. Since February 2005, 148 countries have been members of the WTO. Countries are committed to complying with the 18 specific agreements attached to the WTO agreement. They cannot choose to be proponents of certain agreements, but not others (with the exception of some «multilateral» agreements that are not mandatory). The general objectives of the ON TRIPS agreement are contained in the preamble to the agreement, which echoes the fundamental negotiating objectives of the Uruguay Round, set in the TRIPS zone by the 1986 Punta del Este Declaration and the 1988/89 mid-term review. These objectives include reducing distortions and barriers to international trade, promoting effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights, and ensuring that measures and procedures to enforce intellectual property rights do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade. These objectives should be understood in conjunction with Article 7 Objectives, under which the protection and implementation of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual benefit of producers and users of technological knowledge, and in a way that promotes social and economic well-being, and to the balance of rights and obligations. Article 8, entitled «Principles,» recognizes the right of members to take action for public health and other public interest reasons and to prevent abuses of intellectual property rights, provided these measures are consistent with the provisions of the TRIPS agreement.