Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law


4. Conclusion

The recognition of direct effect for certain TRIPs provisions referring to rights of individuals should be a welcomed development and could be a useful tool to develop the acceptance of the world trading system by individuals,158 as well as to reinforce the protection of intellectual property rights' holders within the Community. The Court's recognition of the justiciability of TRIPs provisions is a promising movement in this direction. However, it has not gone so far as to give Community direct effect to the TRIPs provisions. The ECJ seems to be satisfied by the indirect effect of TRIPs for the time being.

In the longer term, much will depend on the manner in which we address the relationship between the individual and the international legal system.159 From Parfums Dior, it appears that the ECJ has already made its choice: the individual is sufficiently protected under Community law by the existing case-law, but dissatisfied Member States remain free to grant a higher level of protection. Whether the national courts will perceive the exercise of this freedom to be necessary remains to be seen.

158 Meinhard Hilf, The Role of National Courts in International Trade Relations, [1997] Mich. J. Int'l L. (18) 321 at 355.

159 Ronald A. Brand, Direct Effect of International Economic Law in the United States and the European Union, [1997] Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 556 at 608.




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