Article 35 of the TRIPS Agreement requires Member States to protect the design of integrated circuits in accordance with the provisions of the IPIC (Intellectual Property Contract for Integrated Circuits) Treaty, negotiated in 1989 under the auspices of WIPO. These provisions address, inter alia, definitions of integrated circuit design and configuration (topography), protection requirements, exclusive rights and restrictions, and exploitation, registration and disclosure. An integrated circuit means a product in its final form or in an intermediate form in which the elements, of which at least one is an active element, and all or part of the compounds contained in and/or on a piece of material are formed entirely and which is intended to perform an electronic function. A schematic design (topography) is defined as the three-dimensional arrangement, regardless of its shape, of the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and of all or part of the connections of an integrated circuit or such a three-dimensional arrangement prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture. The obligation to protect designs applies to designs that are original in the sense that they are the result of the intellectual efforts of their creators and are not common among schematic creators and manufacturers of integrated circuits at the time of their creation. Exclusive rights include the right of reproduction and the right to import, sell and distribute for commercial purposes. There are some restrictions on these rights. This article examines this balance by examining the two poles of IP policy: incentives to increase innovation and maximizing access to inventions both for consuming use and for potential experiences that enhance innovation. This paper also explores the notion of benchmarking, the idea that each country or region should adapt its regulatory framework to reflect its own strengths and weaknesses in optimizing what might be called its innovation policy. A benchmarking approach suggests that providing incentives to innovate and optimize access are not mutually exclusive goals. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the international organization that deals with the rules of trade between nations.
Since February 2005, 148 countries have been members of the WTO. By joining the WTO, countries commit to respecting the 18 specific agreements annexed to the agreement establishing the WTO. You cannot choose to sneak into some agreements, but not others (with the exception of some “plurilateral” agreements that are not mandatory). .