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The Global Intellectual Property Order and Its Undetermined Future

Peter K. Yu

Drake University Law School

October 8, 2009

The WIPO Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 1-15, 2009

As an introduction to the inaugural issue of the new WIPO Journal, this essay highlights some of the key recent developments in the intellectual property field. The essay begins by discussing the increasingly complex, and at times incoherent, international legal order governing the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. It shows how much the system has been transformed since the launch of the Paris and Berne Conventions in the 1880s.

The essay then examines the increasingly polarized debate on intellectual property law and policy. Although the debate’s growing divisiveness is understandable, given the rapid expansion of intellectual property rights and the highly contentious nature of boundary drawing, this essay pleads for a more constructive debate that is based on empirical research, historical and comparative analyses, interdisciplinary insights, and holistic perspectives.

Finally, the essay concludes by pointing out that the international intellectual property system is not facing a crisis, as some commentators have claimed. Rather, it has been presented with a new opportunity. Many high-income developing countries are now approaching a crossover point at which they switch over to the more promising side of the intellectual property divide - the proverbial gap between those who benefit from the existing intellectual property system and those who do not. This crossover process is likely to have significant implications for the future development of the intellectual property system.

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Date posted: October 9, 2009 ; Last revised: October 17, 2011

Suggested Citation

Yu, Peter K., The Global Intellectual Property Order and Its Undetermined Future (October 8, 2009). The WIPO Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 1-15, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1485285

Contact Information

Peter K. Yu (Contact Author)
Drake University Law School ( email )
151 Cartwright Hall
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States
(515) 271-2948 (Phone)
(515) 271-2530 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.peteryu.com
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