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Title: The WTO and a balance of conflicting interests : the example of TRIPS and geographical indications from a developing country perspective
Author: Zahir, Azmiralda.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3576 5087
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the emerging global regulatory framework for the protection of intellectual property rights, and its effects on developing countries. It analyses in particular, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). The TRIPs Agreement is considered as a contentious issue between developed and developing countries, where opinions at the WTO negotiations have been divided between these two categories of countries. This is the case for all areas of the disciplines of intellectual property rights recognised in the TRIPs Agreement, except the concept of geographical indications. The negotiations related to this do not involve a strict division of views between developed and developing countries. While the two most powerful Member States, namely, the EU and the US are divided in their views at the negotiations related to geographical indications, developing countries have taken the side of either of these two Member States. This thesis demonstrates how the concept of geographical indications could also become a conflict between developed and developing countries, unless the WTO takes some measures to prevent this. In illustrating this point, the thesis relies on three main elements. Firstly, the thesis analyses the position of developing countries at the WTO, demonstrating the existence of a series of deficiencies inherent in the multilateral trade framework, such as unequal bargaining powers. Secondly, by analysing the EU experience in the area, the thesis examines potential problems that could arise in the harmonisation of geographical indications, such as diverse normative concepts. Finally, it evaluates the more subtle influences imposed on developing countries and other countries with weaker bargaining powers on their interpretation of the TRIPs provisions, through individually negotiated bilateral agreements for the protection of geographical indications. Based on the changing attitudes of the developed Member States in the multilateral framework, this thesis argues that certain measures could be undertaken by the WTO to prevent a potential future developed and developing country conflict with respect to geographical indications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available