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The role of Articles 7 and 8 of the TRIPS Agreement in the development of intellectual property law and policy

  • Slade, Alison
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
OpenGrey Repository


Articles 7 and 8 of the TRIPS Agreement are a set of treaty norms that provide express recognition for policy objectives that are fundamental to international intellectual property protection. Not only do they identify the goals of technological innovation and dissemination, they also acknowledge the wider public interest behind the Agreement. Given the content of Article 7 and 8, it is not surprising that these provisions are regarded as important interpretative devices that permit a contextual view of the TRIPS Agreement, such that Member States can tailor their intellectual property laws to suit national levels of development. Within the WTO, Articles 7 and 8 have acquired influence at the policy level through the Doha Ministerial Declaration and the Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. Yet, these provisions have received only limited recognition from the Dispute Settlement Body. Hence the importance of the 2001 decision in US-s2JJ Omnibus Appropriations Act 1998, where the Panel identified Article 7 as an expression of the good faith principle. In this capacity, not only does Article 7 function as an interpretative device' also requires substantive compliance, operating as an effective source of law. Beyond the TRIPS Agreement Articles 7 and 8 have been utilised within the WIPO Development Agenda and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. This, together with increasing recognition at the domestic level, has resulted in an enhanced status within the wider policy arena and an enhanced legal status, such that the interpretation and application of Articles 7 and 8 is now beyond the exclusive control of the WTO. Consequently, as policy instruments, interpretative devices or substantive rules, Articles 7 and 8 defend a perspective on intellectual property regulation that is fully supportive of social as well as economic development in all participating nations whatever their stage of development. / EThOS - Electronic Theses Online Service / GB / United Kingdom

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