One of the fundamental characteristics of the TRIPS Agreement is that it makes protection of intellectual property rights an integral part of the multilateral trading system, as embodied in the WTO.

The TRIPS Agreement is often described as one of the three “pillars” of the WTO, the other two being trade in goods (the traditional domain of the GATT) and trade in services.

The TRIPS Agreement is part of the “single undertaking” resulting from the Uruguay Round negotiations. That implies that the TRIPS Agreement applies to all WTO members. It also means that the provisions of the agreement are subject to the integrated WTO dispute settlement mechanism which is contained in the Dispute Settlement Understanding (the “Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes”).


Which country received the most complaints relating to violations to the TRIPS agreement at the WTO? I am guessing China might be the country that received the most complaints, but I couldn't find any statistics or information that confirmed that this was the case. I am guessing by reading through every complaints from every country we could get an answer to this.

1 Answer 1


You can see the full list of disputes filed at the Dispute Settlement Body, and filter by agreement here. To date, 44 disputes have been filed alleging violations of the TRIPS Agreement. These are broken down by respondent country below. Note that I have counted DS408 and DS409 under 'European Union', although the respondent in both cases was 'European Union and a Member State', namely the Netherlands.

The European Union has been the respondent in the most number of cases, but China, the United States, and Australia have all been the respondent in five disputes.

Country Number of Disputes
European Union 7
United States 5
China 5
Australia 5
Japan 3
Argentina 2
Canada 2
India 2
Saudi Arabia 2
Türkiye 1
Bahrain 1
United Arab Emirates 1
Brazil 1
Greece 1
Sweden 1
Denmark 1
Ireland 1
Indonesia 1
Portugal 1
Pakistan 1

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .