The IPRs covered by the TRIPS Agreement are:
- Copyright and related rights (i.e. the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations)
- Trademarks, including service marks
- Geographical indications including appellations of origin
- Industrial designs
- Patents including the protection of new varieties of plants
- Layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits
- Undisclosed information, including trade secrets and test data.
Intellectual Property Rights are statutory rights once granted allows the creator(s) or owner(s) of the intellectual property to exclude others from exploiting the same commercially for a given period of time. It allows the creator(s)/owner(s) to have the benefits from their work when these are exploited commercially. IPR are granted to an inventor or creator, designer in lieu of the discloser of his/her knowledge.
Countries have laws to protect intellectual property for two main reasons. One is to give statutory expression to the moral and economic rights of creators in their creations and such rights of the public in access to those creations.
The second is to promote, as a deliberate act of Government policy, creativity and the dissemination and application of its results and to encourage fair-trading, which would contribute to economic and social development in view of the immense commercial value of intellectual property.