Are Foreigners Treated Equally Under TRIPS?
23 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 2019
The TRIPS Agreement, administered by the World Trade Organisation, ensures the smooth functioning of the international patent system. It promises among others that local and foreign firms are treated in the same, non-discriminatory manner. We test for whether national treatment has been upheld in the five largest patent offices and document the existence of a systematic bias against foreign firms in patent examination decisions. We find that filing international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty can reduce some of the bias.
Keywords: discrimination, global patent system, national treatment
JEL Classification: O34, F13, F23, K2, K4
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