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What is the “minimal protection standards” principle?



The principle of IP protection states that international treaties should establish minimum standards that member countries are required to meet. However, countries have the freedom to provide even greater levels of protection voluntarily. If a member country chooses to adopt more stringent obligations beyond the minimum requirements, it should be regarded as a courtesy and not imposed on other member countries.


The level of IP protection that a country provides is closely linked to its economic development. It may be unrealistic to demand that developing countries set the same level of IP protection as developed countries. Therefore, additional IP flexibilities may be necessary for developing countries.


For international treaties to be successful, all parties must agree on acceptable minimum standards through negotiations. Compromises and concessions may be necessary to reach an agreement. Without such compromises, it may not be possible to establish international treaties.

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