Into BITs and Pieces: Fragmentation in International Patent Lawmaking

22 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Feroz Ali

Feroz Ali

National Law School of India University

Date Written: February 9, 2016


Scholars have identified fragmentation in intellectual property lawmaking as a result of two opposing actions: the act of some states in commodification initiatives of signing Free Trade Agreements advocating stronger intellectual property rights while others involving counternorm initiatives by creating ‘soft law’ at international organizations. This generalized picture does not fully describe international patent lawmaking. States respond to commodification initiatives, not by promulgating counternorms, but by making countervailing changes in its local law. This can be explained by the principle of subsidiarity: the coordination in international law making while respecting state autonomy. The principle of subsidiarity holds that power or function should not be assigned to a jurisdictional level higher up in the hierarchy of governmental systems if the responsibilities it embodies can be discharged equally well or better by governments at lower levels.

Keywords: fragmentation, international patent lawmaking, free trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, BITs, TRIPS, stasis, harmonization, patent exclusivity, counter-norm measures, regime shifting, subsidiarity

JEL Classification: O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Ali, Feroz, Into BITs and Pieces: Fragmentation in International Patent Lawmaking (February 9, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Feroz Ali (Contact Author)

National Law School of India University ( email )

Nagarbhavi, PO Box 72
Bangalore, Karnataka 560072

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics