The International Enclosure of China's Innovation Space
INNOVATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN CHINA: STRATEGIES, CONTEXTS AND CHALLENGES, Ken Shao and Feng Xiaoqing, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 236-60, 2014
18 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2013 Last revised: 25 Aug 2014
Date Written: October 7, 2013
This chapter highlights the external constraints on China's ability to innovate by recounting how the existing international intellectual property regime has evolved in a way that significantly encloses the innovation space of developing countries. It begins by tracing the development of this regime from its very beginning to the establishment of the WTO TRIPS Agreement. It discusses not only the constraints the Agreement has placed on developing countries, but also the various flexibilities it retains to their benefit.
The chapter then examines the rapid proliferation of TRIPS-plus bilateral, plurilateral and regional trade, investment and intellectual property agreements, including both the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the still-under-negotiation Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. It also points out that China has been slowly emerging as an innovative power and therefore a potential beneficiary of higher intellectual property standards, just as developed countries used non-multilateral agreements aggressively to further enclose the innovation space of developing countries. The chapter concludes by outlining four sets of challenges the international intellectual property regime will pose to China's continued effort to strengthen its innovative capacity.
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