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The World Trade Organization's agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights established minimum levels of protection on issues that WTO signatories agree to observe.

  • Copyright: Computer programs are protected as literary works; program authors can prohibit rental of their work; performers and producers can bar bootlegging of their work.

  • Trademarks: Any sign capable of distinguishing goods and services from those of other undertakings, must be eligible for registration as a trademark; service marks must be protected in the same way as trademarks for goods.

  • Geographical indications: Place names that are used to identify a product, such as "Champagne" and "Scotch," are protected and goods produced elsewhere are not allowed to use those names.

  • Industrial designs: Industrial designs are protected for at least 10 years.

  • Patents: Patent protection must be available for inventions for at least 20 years and should be available for products and processes, with certain exceptions.

  • Integrated circuits: Layout designs are protected for at least 10 years, among other things.

  • Undisclosed information: Trade secrets that have commercial value are protected against breach of confidence.

Source: WTO's TRIPS accord