Review: Patent and Trade Disparities in Developing Countries - Srividhya Ragavan (Oxford University Press, USA) (Hardcover) (2012)
Jindal Global Law Review, Volume 5 Issue 1 (April) 2014
16 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2012 Last revised: 2 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 16, 2012
The dialectics of development policy debate is centered on knowledge protection vs. access to knowledge. Although ‘knowledge’ is conceptually a global public good, the harsh realities of markets as a socio-economic and political phenomenon demands certain set of policy and legal instruments in order to safeguard the constant process of knowledge creation and diffusion. Property is one such instrument. This property paradigm in ideational ‘things’ (i.e. the intellectual property system) has been extended universally through the global trade based regime called the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (in short: TRIPS Agreement), and is being pursued through a binding remedial system within the World Trade Organisation’s Dispute Settlement Understanding (in short: the DSU). Since the dawn of industrialization, property skeptics have offered myriad reasons of its ‘unjust’ consequences on the poor and the subaltern. Patent system has grown out of constant distrust, but has never failed to admire the best of its critics. Prof. Srividhya Ragavan’s academic contribution titled Patent and Trade Disparities in Developing Countries adds to the existing common pool of knowledge in this area. As the title of her book suggests, Prof. Ragavan is quite critical of the current policy paradigm of the patent system as perpetrated by the WTO and its effect on development policy. This review proceeds to offer a brief overview of the book, followed by an elaborate thematic analysis and ends with some suggestions as concluding thoughts.
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