Introduction: The WIPO Development Agenda and Its Development Policy Context
Neil Weinstock Netanel
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
THE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: GLOBAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, Neil W. Netanel, ed., Oxford University Press, 2008
UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-37
Do broad, universal intellectual property rights bring the benefits of innovation, creativity, technical know-how, and foreign investment to developing countries? Or do treaties that require developing countries to grant greater intellectual property protection actually stifle development and impede access to the knowledge and essential medicines that the world's poor so desperately need? The debate over such questions has raged for decades, among scholars and diplomats, lawmakers and policy makers, nongovernmental organizations and international agencies, IP industries and development policy analysts.
The Development Agenda is the fruition of developing countries' most recent campaign to ensure that the intellectual property treaty regime empowers developing countries to tailor their intellectual property laws as they deem necessary to promote development and serve the welfare of their citizens. The Agenda's adoption by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September 2007 is an historic watershed for that UN agency, which has long viewed its mandate as the promotion of greater intellectual property rights throughout the world. Yet despite its powerful symbolic message, the full extent of the Development Agenda's actual impact on the ground, both within WIPO and without, remains to be seen.
This book examines the Development Agenda and the broader issues it raises. Our contributors include leading scholars from various disciplines, including economics, political science, and law, and from countries at various stages of development, including China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Egypt, and Israel, in addition to the US, Canada, and EU. They also include experts from NGO-think tanks, UNCTAD, and two Brazilian diplomats who stood at the forefront of advocating for the Development Agenda's adoption at WIPO.
My introduction places the WIPO Development Agenda in the context of evolving development policy generally, discusses the Agenda's principal provisions, and summarizes the varied contributions to the book.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: intellectual property, WIPO, developing countries, development, TRIPS, antitrust, patent, copyright
JEL Classification: F02, F15, 010, 034
Date posted: December 3, 2008 ; Last revised: February 16, 2009