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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: May 2012

VI - Industrial designs, layout-designs of integrated circuits, undisclosed information, anti-competitive practices



This chapter deals with the provisions of several sections of the TRIPS Agreement, namely Sections 4, 6, 7 and 8 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement entitled ‘Industrial Designs’ (Articles 25, 26), ‘Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits’ (Articles 35 to 38), ‘Protection of Undisclosed Information’ (Article 39) and ‘Control of Anti-Competitive Practices in Contractual Licences’ (Article 40), respectively. Thus this chapter covers eight articles as noted above and deals with a variety of topics.

Each section covered in this chapter has to be read, like other sections in Part II of the TRIPS Agreement that cover standards of IPRs, together with the relevant provisions of pre-existing treaties in the area of international IP law which are incorporated by reference into the TRIPS Agreement. Reference will be made to these treaties in the sections below.

This chapter will also have to be read in conjunction with other relevant provisions of the TRIPS Agreement that are explained in other chapters.Wherever appropriate, cross-references are made to other chapters.

Industrial designs

WTO Members’ obligations with respect to the protection of industrial designs are set out in Articles 25 and 26, which make up Section 4 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement. Under these provisions, at least ten years of protection must be available for industrial designs, during which owners of protected designs must be able to prevent the manufacture, sale or importation for commercial purposes of articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or essentially a copy, of the protected design. Members must also comply with the relevant provisions of the Paris Convention on industrial designs.