* Adam Isaac Hasson is the Editor in Chief of the Boston College International & Comparative Law Review.
1 International Treaties on Intellectual Property 1 (Marshall A. Leaffer ed., 2d ed. 1997) (providing that the first international agreements concerned with the international protection of intellectual property were the Union of Paris for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886)).
2 Alexander A. Caviedes, International Copyright Law: Should the European Union Dictate its Development?, 16 B.U. Int’l L.J. 165, 166 (1998).
3 John E. Guist, Noncompliance with TRIPs by Developed and Developing Countries: Is TRIPs Working?, 8 Ind. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 69, 69 (1997).
4 Marshall J. Welch, International Protection of Intellectual Property, 1 Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J. 41, 41 (1992).
5 See Lara E. Ewens, Seed Wars: Biotechnology, Intellectual Property, and the Quest for High Yield Seeds, 23 B.C. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 285, 305 (2000).
6 See id.
7 Owen Lippert, One Trip to the Dentist is Enough: Reasons to Strengthen Intellectual Property Rights Through the Free Trade Area of the Americas, 9 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L. J. 241, 243 (1998).
8 For a listing of the countries that have accepted the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, see International Treaties on Intellectual Property, supra note 1, at 587.
9 Id. at 585.
10 Guist, supra note 3, at 70.
11 The Paris Convention and the Berne Convention are the major intellectual property conventions that preceded TRIPs. See International Treaties on Intellectual Property, supra note 1, at 1.
12 Lippert, supra note 7, at 273.
13 See Welch, supra note 4, at 42.
14 Melvin Simensky et al., Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace O.6 (1999).
15 Id.
16 Id. (explaining that an invention fails to meet the non-obviousness criterion if the differences between the invention and the prior art would be obvious to a hypothetical person skilled in the field to which the invention pertains).
17 See id.
18 See Welch, supra note 4, at 42.
19 See id.
20 John G. Byrne, Changes on the Frontier of Intellectual Property Law: An Overview of the Changes Required by GATT, 34 Duq. L. Rev. 121, 125 (1995).
21 Id. at 126.
22 See id. at 126–27.
23 Michael O’Sullivan, International Copyright: Protection for Copyright Holders in the Internet Age, 13 N.Y. Int’l L. Rev. 1, 12 (2000).
24 See G. Bruce Doern, Global Change and Intellectual Property Agencies 93 (1999).
25 See id.
26 Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights, Apr. 15, 1994, Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 1C, preamble, LEGAL INSTRUMENTS—RESULTS OF THE URUGUAY Round vol. 31, 33 I.L.M. 81 (1994), available at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/t_agmo_e.htm (last visited Dec. 24, 2001) [hereinafter TRIPs Agreement].
27 See Rotec Indus. v. Mitsubishi Corp., 215 F.3d 1246, 1251 (Fed. Cir. 2000).
28 See TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 1(1).
29 Lippert, supra note 7, at 253.
30 O’Sullivan, supra note 23, at 13.
31 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 27.
32 Id. art. 27(1).
33 Id.; Guist, supra note 3, at 72. However, the TRIPs Agreement fails to define “invention.” Although patents traditionally are available for useful inventions, advances in biotechnology are blurring this line. Carlos M. Correa, Intellectual Property and International Trade: the Trips Agreement 198 (Carlos M. Correa & Abdulqawi A. Yusef eds., 1998).
34 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 27(2), (3).
35 Id. art. 27 (2), (3)(a), (b).
36 See O’Sullivan, supra note 23, at 14. Reciprocity is defined as “the mutual concession of advantages or privileges for the purpose of commercial . . . relations.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1276 (7th ed. 1999).
37 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 3(1).
38 See id. art. 4.
39 Id.
40 Id. art. 28.
41 Id. art. 28(1).
42 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 33.
43 Id. art. 65(2).
44 Id. Developed countries were required to comply with TRIPs’ provisions by 1996, with developing nations’ compliance delayed until January 1, 2000. Intellectual Property Rights, at http://www.cid.harvard.edu.cidtradeIssues/ipr.html (last visited Oct. 25, 2000).
45 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 66(1).
46 See Guist, supra note 3, at 79.
47 See Lippert, supra note 7, at 273.
48 See id.
49 Id. at 273. Increases in trade actually may be the result of avoidance of the U.S.’ “Super 301” processes, a process where the U.S. Trade Representative can withhold intellectual property trade benefits if countries present an unfair burden to American trade. Id. at 273 n.152. For further information on Special 301 processes, see 19 U.S.C.  2411–2420 (1994).
50 See Guist, supra note 3, at 79.
51 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 41(1).
52 Id.
53 See id.
54 See id. art. 41(3).
55 Id.
56 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 41(4).
57 Id. arts. 44(1), 45(1), 46.
58 See generally id.
59 See O’Sullivan, supra note 23, at 15.
60 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 64(1),(3). The Council for TRIPs is a body that examines the scope and modality of complaints provided for under the Agreement. See id. art. 68.
61 O’Sullivan, supra note 23, at 15.
62 Intellectual Property Provisions of GATT, at http://www.ladas.com/gatt.html (last visited Oct. 25, 2000).
63 See generally TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26.
64 Byrne, supra note 20, at 129.
65 See generally id.
66 See id. at 129–30.
67 Andres Moncayo von Hase, The Application and Interpretation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, in Intellectual Property and International Trade: The Trips Agreement, supra note 33, at 106.
68 See id.
69 See U.S. Const. art. I,  8, cl. 8.
70 See von Hase, supra note 67, at 108.
71 See U.S. Const. art. VI,  1, cl. 2; see also 19 U.S.C.  104 (1999).
72 Uruguay Round Agreement Act, Pub. L. No. 103–465, 108 Stat. 4809, 4814 (1994) [hereinafter URAA].
73 See von Hase, supra note 67, at 109–10.
74 Simensky, supra note 14, at O.6.
75 Suramerica de Aleacuiones Laminadas, C.A. v. United States, 966 F.2d 660, 668 (Fed. Cir. 1992).
76 URAA, supra note 72,  102(a).
77 See von Hase, supra note 67, at 111.
78 See generally URAA, supra note 72.
79 35 U.S.C.  271(a) (1984), amended by 35 U.S.C.  271(a) (Supp. I 1994); see also URAA, supra note 72,  533(a).
80 35 U.S.C.  104(a)(1) (1984), amended by 35 U.S.C.  104(a)(1) (Supp. I. 1994); see also URAA, supra note 72,  531(a).
81 35 U.S.C.  154(a)(2) (1984), amended by 35 U.S.C.  154(a)(2) (Supp. I 1994); see also URAA, supra note 72,  532(a).
82 35 U.S.C.  122(b)(1), amended by 35 U.S.C.  122(b)(1) (Supp. I. 1996).
83 35 U.S.C.  111(b)(1) (1994).
84 See Byrne, supra note 20, at 131–33.
85 Rotec Indus. v. Mitsubishi Corp., 215 F.3d 1246, 1251 (Fed. Cir. 2000).
86 35 U.S.C.  271(a) (1984).
87 See Eli Lilly & Co. v. Medtronic, Inc., 915 F.2d 670, 673 (Fed. Cir. 1990).
88 See, e.g., International Protection of Intellectual Property, at FRA 11, BEL. 9 (Dennis Campbell ed., 1995).
89 13 R.P.C. 383, 411–12 (United Kingdom Patents Ct. 1995), cited in Rotec Indus., 215 F.3d at 1251.
90 Id.
91 International Protection of Intellectual Property, supra note 88, at FRA. 11, BEL. 9.
92 See TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 28(1).
93 35 U.S.C.  271(a) (Supp. I 1994).
94 A.K. Stamping Co. v. Instrument Specialties Co., 106 F. Supp. 2d 627, 665 (D.N.J. 2000) (holding that the “norms of traditional contract law should be the basis for” determining whether an offer to sell has been made); Robert Ryan Morishita, Patent Infringement After GATT: What is an Offer to Sell?, 3 Utah L. Rev. 905, 909 (1997).
95 See Morishita, supra note 94, at 912.
96 See id. at 912 n.55.
97 See generally Rotec Indus., 215 F.3d at 1246.
98 See generally id.
99 Congress did not provide much guidance on what constitutes an offer except to say that the sale should “occur before the expiration date of the term of the patent.” 35 U.S.C.  271(i).
100 Rotec Indus., 215 F.3d at 1249 (citing Dowagiac Mfg. Co. v. Minnesota Moline Plow Co., 235 U.S. 641, 650 (1915)).
101 Id.
102 Id. Lower courts have followed this holding. In Ecological Sys. Tech., LP v. Wildlife Ecosystems, LLC, the court held that “offer to sell liability under the patent infringement statute is interpreted according to its ordinary meaning in contract law.” 142 F. Supp.2d 122, 125 (D. Mass. 2000). “In analyzing whether a defendant’s conduct [amounts] to an offer to sell, [the courts look] for evidence that the relevant parties discussed price, quantity and delivery dates.” Id. at 126. Compare with 3 D Systems, Inc. v. Aarotech Lab., Inc., 160 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 1998), where the defendant was held liable for patent infringement when he sent numerous letters listing the price and describing merchandise for sale to companies in California. Id. at 1379. These activities infringed the plaintiff’s patent because they constituted a common law offer to sell within the territory of the United States See id.
103 Byrne, supra note 20, at 131. Trading partners have implemented the “first to file” system. See id.
104 Id.; see also J.H. Reichman, Universal Minimum Standards of Intellectual Property Protection Under the TRIPs Component of the WTO Agreement, in Intellectual Property and International Trade, supra note 33, at 30.
105 See Byrne, supra note 20, at 131.
106 See id.
107 Id.; 35 U.S.C.  104(a)(1) (Supp. I 1994).
108 Byrne, supra note 20, at 129.
109 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 33. The term of protection may be in excess of twenty years. Id.
110 35 U.S.C.  154(a)(2) (Supp. I 1994); Reichman, supra note 104, at 30 n.43.
111 See Byrne, supra note 20, at 129–30.
112 Id. Patent prosecution is the process of obtaining a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Robert P. Merges et al. Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age 134 (2000). The time and effort required to prosecute a patent varies immensely, ranging from two years in average cases, to decades in cases where several inventors claim they were the first to invent a particular invention. Id.
113 See supra notes 79–83 and accompanying text.
114 See Morishita, supra note 94, at 912.
115 See Doern, supra note 24, at 94.
116 See id. at 93.
117 World Intellectual Property Organization, at http://www.wipo.org./about-wipo/en/overview.html (last visited Dec. 4, 2001).
118 Ewens, supra note 5, at 304.
119 Doern, supra note 24, at 93.
120 Lippert, supra note 7, at 247, Marie Wilson, TRIPS Agreement Implications for ASEAN Protection of Computer Technology, 4 Ann. Surv. Int’l & Comp. L. 18, 22–23 (1997).
121 See TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 65.
122 See id.
123 See generally id.
124 Intellectual Property Rights, supra note 44.
125 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 27.
126 Correa, supra note 33, at 193.
127 TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 27(1).
128 Id. art 1(1).
129 See id.
130 See id. art. 28(1).
131 See International Protection of Intellectual Property, supra note 88, at FRA. 11, BEL. 9.
132 See TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 28.
133 See Byrne, supra note 20, at 135.
134 Id.
135 See id.; see generally International Protection of Intellectual Property, supra note 88, at FRA. 6–10.
136 Byrne, supra note 20, at 135.
137 See TRIPs Agreement, supra note 26, art. 3(1).
138 See id; Alice Macandrew, It’s Boom Time for New York’s IP Lawyers, 52 Managing Intell. Prop. 5, 5 (1995).
139 Byrne, supra note 20, at 135.
140 See T935/97 IBM/Computer Programs, [1999] E.P.O.R. 301, at II.
141 International Treaties on Intellectual Property, supra note 1, at 673. The following states are party to the European Patent Convention: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. Id. at 674.
142 Id.
143 European Patent Convention, Oct. 5, 1973, art. 2(1), 13 I.L.M. 268 (1974).
144 IBM/ Computer Programs, [1999] E.P.O.R. at VII, 2.3.
145 Id. at VII, 2.1.
146 Id.
147 Id. at V.
148 See id. at VII, 2.3.
149 See generally IBM/ Computer Programs, [1999] E.P.O.R. at VII, 2.3.
150 Intellectual Property Rights, supra note 44.
151 Id.
152 Id.
153 Id.
154 See id.