The Agreement on trade aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement between all member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It establishes minimum standards for the regulation of different forms of intellectual property (IP) by national governments, as applied to nationals of other WTO member countries.  TRIPS 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. The TRIPS Agreement introduced intellectual property rights into the multilateral trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property to date. In 2001, developing countries, concerned about the industrialized countries` insistence on an overly narrow interpretation of TRIPS, launched a round table that resulted in the Doha Declaration. The Doha Declaration is a WTO declaration that clarifies the scope of TRIPS and, for example, states that TRIPS can and should be interpreted with the aim of "promoting access to medicines for all". Most-favoured-nation treatment: Normally, under WTO agreements, countries cannot distinguish between their trading partners. Therefore, if a trading partner receives special treatment, such as tariff reductions, the same must apply to all other WTO members, unless they have signed a bilateral or regional trade agreement. The recent Industrial Property Act takes into account the need to amend Mauritius` IP legislation in order to comply with the WTO/TRIPS Agreement, to include international agreements in the TRIPS framework and to promote the economic and social development of the country.
The main purpose of the law is to update IP legislation in line with international trends and treaties. With regard to international developments in industrial property, the draft law contained provisions relating to the legislation relating to the Treaty for International Cooperation in the Field of Patents ("PCT"), the Madrid Protocol on Trademarks and the Geneva Act of the Hague Convention on Industrial Designs. These oblige Mauritius to cooperate with international conventions and the Union Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants ("UPOV"). In addition to the basic intellectual property standards established by the TRIPS Agreement, many nations have engaged in bilateral agreements to introduce a higher level of protection. This collection of standards, known as TRIPS+ or TRIPS-Plus, can take many forms.  The general objectives of these agreements are as follows: the ad hoc conditions imposing standards beyond TRIPS were also examined.  These free trade agreements contain conditions that limit the ability of governments to create competition for generic drug manufacturers. In particular, the United States has been criticized for encouraging protection far beyond the standards imposed by TRIPS.
U.S. free trade agreements with Australia, Morocco, and Bahrain have extended patentability by requiring patents to be available for new uses of known products.  The TRIPS Agreement allows for the issuance of compulsory licences at the discretion of a country. The more ad hoc conditions provided for in the free trade agreements between the United States and Australia, Jordan, Singapore and Vietnam have limited the application of compulsory licenses to emergency situations, antitrust measures and cases of non-commercial public use.  Since the entry into force of the TRIPS Agreement, it has been the subject of criticism from developing countries, academics and non-governmental organisations. While some of this criticism is directed at the WTO in general, many proponents of trade liberalization also view TRIPS as bad policy. . . .