Innovation policy and the TRIPS Agreement

A balanced and effective intellectual property system is recognized as an integral element of the policy framework that supports innovation. The role of intellectual property (IP) rights in enabling and promoting innovation, and in facilitating the dissemination of the outcomes of innovative activities, is widely debated internationally and domestically, and is the subject of active policy consideration in many countries. The Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) recognizes the significance of the IP system for innovation, providing (in Article 7) that the “protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology”.

Recent years have seen a series of discussions in the WTO TRIPS Council on different aspects of the interplay between the intellectual property system and the policy and practice of innovation, discussions which have covered a wide range of national experiences in developing and applying innovation policy and the related use of the intellectual property system as a means to promote such policies.

From the e-TRIPS gateway, you can access the TRIPS Council’s meeting records on intellectual property and innovation.

Specific issues address by the TRIPS Council under this ad hoc agenda item include:

    • Intellectual property and innovation
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises
    • Cost-effective innovation
    • Contribution of IP to facilitate the transfer of environmentally rational technology and intellectual property and sports
    • University technology partnerships
    • Innovation incubators
    • Promoting awareness; case studies
    • Women and innovation
    • The role of IP in financing innovation
    • Entrepreneurialism and new technologies
    • Education and diffusion
    • Sustainable resource and low emission technology strategies
    • Regional innovation models
    • Inclusive innovation and MSME collaboration
    • Inclusive innovation and MSME growth
    • Inclusive innovation and MSME trade
    • Intellectual property and innovation: Summary of the 2017 theme on inclusive innovation and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMES): Collaboration, growth and trade; and 2018 IP and innovation theme: The societal value of IP in the new economy
    • Intellectual property and innovation: The societal value of IP in the new economy – IP improving lives
    • Intellectual property and innovation – The societal value of IP in the new economy – IP and new business
    • Intellectual Property and Innovation – Summary of the 2018 Theme: The Societal Value of IP in the New Economy and 2019 Intellectual Property and Innovation Theme: Public-Private Collaborations in Innovation
    • Intellectual property and innovation: Public-private collaborations in innovation – Innovative approaches to assisting in branding and promotion and the creative industries
    • Intellectual property and innovation: Public-private collaborations in innovation – IP commercialization
    • Intellectual property and innovation – Summary of the 2019 theme: Public-private collaborations in innovation and 2020 intellectual property theme: Making MSMEs competitive – February 2020 subtheme: Making MSMEs competitive through trademarks

e-TRIPS gateway: TRIPS Council minutes