TRIPS Implementation in Francophone Africa
THE IMPLANTATION GAME: THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND THE GLOBAL POLITICS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REFORM IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, Carolyn L. Deere, Oxford University Press, 2008
64 Pages Posted: 18 May 2009
Date Written: December 2008
In 1999, francophone African countries revised their joint, regional legal framework for intellectual property protection, the Bangui Agreement, with the aim of complying with the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. In doing so, however, they forfeited many of the legal options and safeguards available under TRIPS, went beyond the minimum TRIPS requirements, and in many cases, implemented the agreement far in advance of their deadlines. Why did these countries implement such strong IP standards and so much earlier than required by TRIPS? Some argue this is the result of a member-driven process, while others blame pressures from powerful international actors and multinational corporations. A third explanation is that the revised Agreement emerged in its flawed form because the officials involved knew it would have little practical impact. While each of these explanations contributes a part of the story of TRIPS implementation in francophone Africa, neither alone is sufficient. Whereas national economic interests fail to explain the TRIPS-plus approach taken by these francophone African countries, neither are general allusions to international pressures enough to account for the specifics at the Bangui outcome. This text argues that the institutional arrangements for IP decision-making in the region and pro-IP capacity building were the decisive variables.
Keywords: TRIPS, WIPO, intellectual property, reform, governance, patent, copyright, implementation, compliance, politics, developing countries, development agenda
JEL Classification: F13, F53, F53, F59, K33, L38, L31, O19, O33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation