Reconceptualising the Debate on Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development
The Law and Development Review, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 65-107, 2010
46 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 1, 2010
This article argues that IP is critical to full-scale technological and economic development for developing countries. Linking IPRs and economic development is not often a popular perspective, but it is clear that developing countries must now operate from the perspective of TRIPs being the minimum level of protection mandated by the international community - substantially deviating from the TRIPs standard is not a viable option. With IPRs and protection being raised in almost every free trade agreement negotiated by developed countries, as well as through the negotiation of new multilateral treaties, such as the proposed Substantive Patent Law Treaty and the Anti- Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the time is ripe for developing countries to revisit the role of IP and economic development. Countries must seek the answers to a number of questions - have increased IPRs impacted upon poverty reduction strategies? Have IPRs encouraged or led to increased growth? How have IPRs impacted access to information, knowledge, education and research? Is the IP policy coherent with other public policy issues such as investment, public health, trade and competition?
Keywords: intellectual property, TRIPS, international trade, WTO, development, economic impact
JEL Classification: K30, K33, K40, O10, O19, O34, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation