This is an introductory overview of the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement aimed at policy-makers and technical personnel in developing countries. It highlights some of the central issues for the South and gives recommendations to those formulating policy and legislation in this field.

In particular, the document suggests that maximum advantage must be taken of those areas where the agreement leaves some scope for choice in determining national legislation, in order to ensure that this is formulated in a manner that helps countries to achieve their development objectives. In addition, it is suggested that there are a number of areas in which developing countries could co-operate to great mutual advantage.

The document is based on a draft by Carlos Correa and colleagues at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.