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Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, North-South Trade, and Biological Diversity

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  • Susanne Droege

    ()

  • Birgit Soete

Abstract

In the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of GATT (1 January 1995) it was agreed to harmonise intellectual property rights (IPR) on an international level and to include the option for patent protection for all life forms such as plants and animals (Article 27 (3) b). Patenting, however, leads to considerable conflicts between international trade and protection of biological diversity, which can be illustrated by the example of seed production. We make use of a three-stage game to show the strategic incentives for implementation of two different property rights regimes (patents and farmers' rights) on competition and biodiversity. We show that the Southern government has no incentive to acknowledge international patents, even if farmers' rights do exist. The Northern producer will always dominate in the output market if patents are applied, but without farmers' rights biodiversity will not be maintained by the Southern government. Thus total payoff of the northern firm is maximized, if both IPR regimes are implemented. However, if only farmers' rights are valid, biodiversity will be maximal. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 149-163

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:19:y:2001:i:2:p:149-163

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: biodiversity; farmers' rights; intellectual property rights; North-South trade; TRIPS;

References

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  1. Wright, Donald J, 1993. "International Technology Transfer and Per-Unit Royalties," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(60), pages 11-19, June.
  2. Bhat, Mahadev G., 1996. "Trade-related intellectual property rights to biological resources: Socioeconomic implications for developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 205-217, December.
  3. Maskus, Keith E. & Penubarti, Mohan, 1995. "How trade-related are intellectual property rights?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 227-248, November.
  4. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Strategic environmental policy and intrenational trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 325-338, July.
  5. Frisvold, George B. & Condon, Peter T., 1998. "The convention on biological diversity and agriculture: Implications and unresolved debates1," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 551-570, April.
  6. Bhat, Mahadev G., 1999. "On biodiversity access, intellectual property rights, and conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 391-403, June.
  7. Swanson, Timothy & Goschl, Timo, 2000. "Property rights issues involving plant genetic resources: implications of ownership for economic efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 75-92, January.
  8. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  9. Vishwasrao, Sharmila, 1994. "Intellectual property rights and the mode of technology transfer," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 381-402, August.
  10. Brush, Stephen B., 1992. "Farmer's rights and genetic conservation in traditional farming systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(11), pages 1617-1630, November.
  11. Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "Welfare Effects of Global Patent Protection," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 35-51, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rupert Gatti & Timo Goeschl & Ben Groom & Timothy Swanson, 2011. "The Biodiversity Bargaining Problem," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(4), pages 609-628, April.
  2. Jungcurt, Stefan & Meyer, Thomas, 2006. "CONSOLIDATION, DELIMITATION AND STALEMATE. Disruptive Interplay and Strategic Incentives in the CBD-TRIPS Relationship," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18843, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  3. Yang-Ming Chang & Kyle Ross, 2009. "Biodiversity, intellectual property rights and north-south trade," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 992-1002.
  4. Tim Swanson & Ben Groom, 2012. "Regulating global biodiversity: what is the problem?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 114-138, Spring.
  5. Winands, Sarah & Holm-Müller, Karin & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2013. "The biodiversity conservation game with heterogeneous countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 14-23.

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