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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the provisions on geographical indications contained in the TRIPS Agreement and how they came about in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which took place from 1986 to 1994 and resulted in the establishment of the World Trade Organization. The article underscores the difficulties involved in arriving at international standards in this area of intellectual property by putting the TRIPS provisions on geographical indications in their historical perspective of more than 120 years of international negotiations and by explaining their compromise character in the context of the single undertaking of the Uruguay Round and the continuing discussions at the international level, notably under the Doha Development Agenda.

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