World Trade Organization council to talk intellectual property rights

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) will meet virtually today. The TRIPS

Photo: Reuters

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) will meet virtually today.

The TRIPS Council oversees the application of the TRIPS agreement, an international pact governing intellectual property-related trade. The council monitors WTO member compliance with the agreement.

Today’s meeting will likely involve discussion about intellectual property rights (IPR) for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in green tech. The council sees a lack of access to support from public agencies as a major challenge for MSMEs seeking increased intellectual property protection. For MSMEs, which represent over 50% of employment in emerging economies, IPR protection is crucial to labour security and elevating innovative thinking towards green technologies.

Expect the TRIPS council to discuss member-states’ support for domestic MSMEs’ IPR. Until recommendations are released, there are a variety of avenues that private enterprises in green technology can already use to obtain IPR support. Internationally, the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network acts as a forum for connecting MSMEs while also serving as a repository of IPR-related support and information. At the country level, the WTO will likely continue to encourage member-states to offer free legal assistance and patent process information through domestic IP offices.

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