The TRIPS Agreement gives effect to a principle of transparency, founded on a system of notifications about how countries choose to implement TRIPS provisions. These notifications, built up since 1996, now amount to a useful collection of factual information about national IP systems, as well as specific details on key issues such as incentives for transfer of technology, and contact points within national systems. These notifications help the Council for TRIPS to monitor the operation of the Agreement and to promote understanding of Members’ IP policies.
These transparency provisions oblige WTO Members to
notify to the Council for TRIPS their IP laws and regulations;
establish and notify contact points in their administrations for the purposes of cooperation with each other aimed at the elimination of trade in infringing goods;
notify the Council in the event that they wish to avail themselves of certain possibilities provided for in the Agreement that relate to the substantive obligations. These concern, for example, modifications of the criteria of eligibility for protection, exceptions to the MFN treatment, and protection of state emblems.