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The Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an agreement of international law between all World Trade Organization (WTO) member states. It sets minimum standards for the regulation of different forms of intellectual property by national governments, as is the case for nationals of other WTO member states. [3] The TRIPS agreement was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) between 1989 and 1990[4] and is managed by the WTO. Article 10.1 provides that computer programs, whether in the source code or in the object code, are protected as literary works in accordance with the Berne Convention (1971). This provision confirms that computer programmes must be protected by copyright and that the provisions of the Berne Convention applicable to literary works must also be applied to them. In addition, it is confirmed that the form in which a program is located, whether in the source code or the object code, does not affect the protection. The obligation to protect computer programs as literary works means z.B that only restrictions on literary works can be applied to computer programs. It also confirms that the general 50-year term of protection applies to computer programs. The shorter possible conditions for the photographic works and works of art used should not be applied. The agreement also recognises the divergent position of Member States with regard to their relative economic status, administrative capacities and technological base. As in other WTO agreements, developing countries have received special and differentiated treatment, in accordance with Part VI of the agreement, under “transitional arrangements”.

While developed countries had to ensure compliance until 1 January 1996, developing and post-communist countries themselves gave themselves four more years to achieve this (with an additional five years for new patented products). In accordance with Article 66.1, the least developed countries (LDCs) had the opportunity to adopt the TRIPS agreement until 2006, with the possibility of further extensions; The Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health in 2001 subsequently authorized an additional ten years for medicines for least developed countries (WTO, 2001). Article 66.2 now expressly advocates the transfer of technology from developed to least developed countries to support the creation of a viable technological base, and Article 67 requires developed countries to provide technical and financial assistance to facilitate the implementation of the agreement.