Council for TRIPS

The Council for TRIPS is the body responsible for administering the TRIPS Agreement. In particular, it monitors the operation of the Agreement (Article 68). In its regular sessions, the TRIPS Council mostly serves as a forum for discussion between members on key issues. It is open to all WTO members and observers. The current chair is

The TRIPS Council also meets in “special sessions”. These are for negotiations on a multilateral system for notifying and registering geographical indications for wines and spirits, under the Doha Development Agenda. The current chair is


Work of the TRIPS Council

The Council's work on monitoring involves discussion and review of laws implementing the TRIPS Agreement. Transparency mechanisms, such as TRIPS notification obligations, questionnaires and exchanges of questions and replies among WTO members, help the Council monitor the operation of the Agreement.

The Council annually reviews reports on technical cooperation and capacity-building activities as well as on developed countries'  implementation of the obligation to provide incentives to their industries to transfer technology to least developed countries (LDCs). In addition, it reviews the functioning of the system that permits the granting of compulsory licences for export of medicines.

The TRIPS Agreement contains a "built-in" agenda to review TRIPS provisions on geographical indications and biotechnology patenting and to examine the scope and modalities of non-violation complaints. The Council also has a number of other standing agenda items, including on observer status, the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity and the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore.

Additional issues are being discussed on an ad hoc basis, such as access to medicines and public health, climate change, electronic commerce, the enforcement of intellectual property rights, intellectual property and innovation and issues of particular interest to LDCs.

The Council is also a forum for clarifying or interpreting provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Members occasionally bring such issues before the Council in order to share information or clarify certain issues. To the extent issues involve differences between WTO members, the aim is, whenever possible, to resolve them without the need for recourse to dispute settlement.

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Documents on TRIPS 

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General documents of the TRIPS Council  use the code IP/C/*, special sessions documents use the code TN/IP/* (where * takes additional values)
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> help with downloading these documents

  • Annual reports of the TRIPS Council to the General Council (searches for document code IP/C/* and keyword "report")   > search
  • Minutes of the meetings of the TRIPS Council (Document code IP/C/M/*)   > search
  • Working documents of the TRIPS Council (Document code IP/C/W/*)   > search
  • Decisions of the TRIPS Council (Document code varies)   > search
  • “Special sessions” (negotiations on a multilateral register for geographical indications for wines and spirits) (Document code TN/IP/*)   > search

You can perform more sophisticated searches from the Documents Online search facility (opens in new window) by defining multiple search criteria such as document symbol (i.e. code number), full text search or document date.

Regular Meetings of the  TRIPS Council



Special Session of   the TRIPS Council