The World Trade Organization (“WTO”) is the institution established by the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization to regulate world trade and development. As of 26 May 2010 it had over 152 member states plus the European Union. The only important industrial country yet to join is the Russian Federation.

The Marrakesh Agreement is the culmination of 8 years of multilateral negotiations on agriculture, trade in services and intellectual property within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT”). It establishes a comprehensive legal framework for trade in goods and services and procedures for the resolution of trade disputes between member states.

One of the conditions of membership is that member will states will provide minimum levels of protection for the intellectual assets for their own and other member states’ citizens and nationals.