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The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Transition Economies: Lessons from Bulgaria

30 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2008  

Lubomira Ivanova


Anne Layne-Farrar

Charles River Associates; Northwestern University

Date Written: September 30, 2008


The debate over the role of strong IP rights for developing countries has been and continues to be heated among academic and policymaker circles. Bulgaria's experience since shedding communism offers interesting insights into this debate by providing a window into the part that IP rights can play in fostering innovation and strengthening a market economy. We find that the development and implementation of innovation policy requires close cooperation and coordination between all players in the innovation system. The success of any IP legislation cannot be judged in isolation, without recognizing the advantages or limitations imposed by other facets of the economy and the existing infrastructure that transition economies must work within. These factors directly affect innovation incentives and research spending, including government rules and practices and the availability of stable private financing options. Even though the available innovation metrics for Bulgaria show slow progress to date, we conclude that when the entire experience is taken in context, the nation's early move toward meaningful IPR policy was overall a positive step that laid the groundwork for those improvements that have been made and that are expected to be made.

Keywords: developing economies, transition economies, intellectual property rights

Suggested Citation

Ivanova, Lubomira and Layne-Farrar, Anne, The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Transition Economies: Lessons from Bulgaria (September 30, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Lubomira Ivanova (Contact Author)

LECG, LLC ( email )

33 West Monroe
Suite 1850
Chicago, IL 60603-5659
United States

Anne Layne-Farrar

Charles River Associates ( email )

1 South Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60606
United States
312-377-9238 (Phone)


Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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