TRIPS includes a set of transparency mechanisms, which require Members to furnish extensive information about their IP laws and policies, and details about how IPRs are administered and enforced in their territories; these laws are also reviewed in detail in the TRIPS Council. The operation of these transparency mechanisms in the years since 1995 has yielded a uniquely comprehensive and systematic body of information that now covers some 130 jurisdictions (essentially all WTO Members other than LDCs, for whom these provisions do not yet apply).
The very purpose of these mechanisms is to enable understanding of national IP laws and policies; and in practice the TRIPS notifications and related TRIPS Council review materials are a useful and geographically broad resource for those – delegates, analysts, researchers, policy-makers – seeking detailed information on a wide range of questions of IP law, practice and policy. Other working documents and minutes of the Council's regular and special sessions also provide a wealth of information on Members’ policy positions and international debate on these matters. Furthermore, dispute settlement panel and Appellate Body reports dealing with the TRIPS Agreement shed light on the interpretation of its provisions.