IPRs are territorial rights and can be acquired in the territory of the country having an IPR law. That is, IPR acquired in one country cannot be enforced in another country. The TRIPS Agreement lays down only certain minimum standards of protection and enforcement of IPRs by its Members through enactment of such national laws and regulations.
The TRIPS Agreement, however, allows Members to have higher levels of protection than the minimum standards laid down in it, thus leaving the flexibility to Members to have ‘TRIPS plus’ laws and regulations. The developed countries are moving toward higher, enhanced standards of IPR protection to evolve TRIPS-plus regime. These higher standards are now making an appearance in various free trade agreements (FTA) that these countries are negotiating and entering into with their trading partners.
Since these provisions go beyond minimum standards established under TRIPS, they may take away the flexibilities (for example the ability to issue compulsory licenses for medicines required in public health emergencies) that exist in the TRIPS Agreement. These negotiate rules and commitments in bilateral, sub regional and regional agreements that go beyond the multilateral level in WTO.