Mapping the New Geographies of Intellectual Property Rights in the 21st Century
6 The WIPO Journal, Issue 1 (2014)( pp. 26 -36)
17 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017
Date Written: 2014
The substantive boundaries of intellectual property rights are shifting rapidly (if not disintegrating) in the face of the demands of the digital environment, the increasing emphasis on “flexibilities” in multilateral treaty obligations to support sustainable development and access to information, and the global environment in which IP rights are used and protected. As the boundaries of intellectual property continue to shift, it is rationally balanced geographies, crafted using new mapping modalities that have the best chance for creating new boundaries that do not quickly become obsolete or obstructionist. Today’s globalized setting has complicated the creation of effective mapping modalities. Human rights considerations, including access to medicines and culture, privacy demands, and a wide array of international instruments impacting intellectual property rights that did not exist when the 19th Century territorial rights based modality was created, make the creation of rational new geographies more difficult. Yet unless the boundaries for the new geographies of intellectual property rights are created in a rational, consensual manner, “access” and “development” could become new impenetrable borders that stifle future innovation as surely as the territorial limits of the 19th Century stifle today’s innovation.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Territoriality, Access to Information, TRIPS' Flexibilities, Mapping
JEL Classification: K33, K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation