Members may provide limited exceptions to trademark rights, such as fair use of descriptive terms. B, provided that these exceptions take into account the legitimate interests of the trademark holder and third parties (Article 17). The TRIPS agreement requires that undisclosed information — trade secrets or know-how — be protected. Article 39.2 stipulates that protection must apply to secret information of commercial value because it is secret and has been appropriately measures for secret work. The agreement does not require that undisclosed information be treated as a form of ownership, but it does require that a person who lawfully controls that information have the opportunity to prevent disclosure, purchase or use by others in a manner contrary to honest business practices. Contrary business practices include breach of contract, breach of trust and inducements of breach, as well as the acquisition of undisclosed information by third parties who knew or seriously knew that such practices were involved in the acquisition. The Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was negotiated between 1986 and 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TRIPS agreement sets minimum levels for different types of intellectual property protection, including copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design and trade secret protection. WTO membership implies an obligation to respect the TRIPS agreement.
According to the WTO, the agreement seeks to strike a balance between long-term social benefits to society through increased innovation and short-term costs to society due to lack of access to inventions (World Trade Organization: Intellectual Property: Protection and Enforcement. Appeal of the WTO agreement: agreements: wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm7_e.htm). Article 40 of the TRIPS ON Agreement recognizes that certain practices or licensing conditions related to intellectual property rights that limit competition can have negative effects on trade and impede the transfer and dissemination of technology (paragraph 1). Member States may adopt appropriate measures under the other provisions of the agreement to prevent or control abusive and anti-competitive intellectual property licensing practices (paragraph 2). The agreement provides for a mechanism by which a country intending to take action against such practices involving companies in another Member State will consult with that other Member State and exchange non-confidential information relevant to the public for the issue in question and other information available to that member, subject to domestic law and the conclusion of satisfactory agreements for both parties regarding the applicant`s compliance with its confidentiality (paragraph 3).