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Flexibility in the implementation of intellectual property rights in agricultural biotechnology


  • Michel Trommetter



In this paper I discuss the fact that economists define optimal IP rights as a continuum of options in three dimensions: height, breadth and length. At the operational level we see the impossibility of multiplying rights indefinitely (due to prohibitive transaction costs), as well as the use of a limited number of IP tools which have led to the implementation of flexibilities. These flexibilities are designed to limit certain perverse effects of rights ill-adjusted to the characteristics of some economic sectors (agricultural biotechnologies, pharmacy, etc.). In this context, I analyse how these flexibilities are implemented in TRIPS and TRIPS+ agreements and I study the consequences for Developing Countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michel Trommetter, 2010. "Flexibility in the implementation of intellectual property rights in agricultural biotechnology," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 223-245, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:30:y:2010:i:3:p:223-245 DOI: 10.1007/s10657-009-9133-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Glazer, Jacob & Sappington, David E. M., 1992. "Licensing and the sharing of knowledge in research joint ventures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 43-69, February.
    2. Trommetter, Michel, 2005. "Biodiversity and international stakes: A question of access," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 573-583, June.
    3. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Efficient Patent Pools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 691-711, June.
    4. Carl Shapiro, 2001. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 119-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Versaevel, Bruno, 2003. "From private to public common agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 305-309, August.
    6. Langinier, Corinne & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2002. "Economics of Patents: An Overview, The," Staff General Research Papers Archive 2061, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Forero-Pineda, Clemente, 2006. "The impact of stronger intellectual property rights on science and technology in developing countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 808-824, July.
    8. S. Narayan, 2009. "India," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mónica L. Azevedo & Óscar Afonso & Sandra T. Silva, 2013. "Endogenous growth and intellectual property rights: a North-South modelling proposal," FEP Working Papers 492, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. Azevedo, Mónica L. & Afonso, Óscar & Silva, Sandra T., 2014. "Endogenous growth and intellectual property rights: A north–south modeling proposal," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 112-120.

    More about this item


    Intellectual property right; Patent; Agriculture; Trips; Innovation; K11;

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics


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