Are Developing Countries Playing a Better TRIPS Game?
33 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2011 Last revised: 6 Mar 2014
Date Written: August 28, 2011
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights entered into force more than 15 years ago. Although commentators have widely criticized the Agreement for its failure to address the needs, interests, conditions, and priorities of less developed countries, few have examined whether these countries have now attained greater success in shaping the development of the Agreement than they did before. This Article seeks to fill the void by examining the performance of these countries at various stages of development of the TRIPS Agreement.
Utilizing game theory and game metaphors, this Article disaggregates the "TRIPS game" into five different mini-games: (1) negotiation; (2) implementation; (3) enforcement; (4) interpretation; and (5) compliance. The Article then analyzes the performance of less developed countries in these games. By documenting the state of play in each game, this Article highlights the complex and dynamic nature of TRIPS developments as well as the machinations of WTO members. The Article underscores the need for a more holistic perspective in studying the TRIPS Agreement.
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