Intellectual Property and Asian Values
72 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2011 Last revised: 22 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 17, 2011
From Niall Ferguson to Fareed Zakaria, commentators have paid growing attention to the rise of Asia and its implications for the West. Recent years have also seen the emergence of a growing volume of literature on intellectual property developments in Asia, in particular China and India. Few commentators, however, have explored whether Asian countries will take unified positions on international intellectual property law and policy.
Commissioned for the Inaugural International Intellectual Property Scholars Series, this article fills the void by examining intellectual property developments in relation to the decades-old 'Asian values' debate. Drawing on the region's diversity in economic and technological developments and the continuous rivalry among the different regional powers, the article contends that one can neither locate any distinct values, approaches, or practices on intellectual property law and policy nor identify any established pan-Asian positions in the area.
The article further explores the role Asian countries will play if these emerging countries exert more influence on the development of the international intellectual property system. It points out that, although Japan and South Korea are unlikely to join others to form a united front for the Asian developing world, China, India, and ASEAN members may be willing to work together to form a normative community. This article concludes with a discussion of ten key items that will find their way to the community's common policy agenda if such a community indeed exists.
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