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

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  • Susanne Droege

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  • 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

Suggested Citation

  • Susanne Droege & Birgit Soete, 2001. "Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, North-South Trade, and Biological Diversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 149-163, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:19:y:2001:i:2:p:149-163
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011167017863
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Bhat, Mahadev G., 1999. "On biodiversity access, intellectual property rights, and conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 391-403, June.
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    10. 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.
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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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(4), pages 609-628, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Yang-Ming Chang & Kyle Ross, 2009. "Biodiversity, intellectual property rights and north-south trade," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 992-1002.

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