05-06 "Policy Space for Development in the WTO and Beyond: The Case of Intellectual Property Rights"
Global governance in intellectual property (IP) has changed dramatically in the last two decades, and these changes have profound – and worrying – implications for late development. What was once principally an instrument of national policy is now increasingly subject to international disciplines, as the world moves ever-closer to harmonization in the area of IP management. But moving toward harmonization and achieving harmonization are different matters, and it is essential to keep in mind that the former and not the latter describes contemporary arrangements: the trend is toward a reduction in policy space, a feature that many scholars and activists point to with great concern (Gallagher, 2005), but the outcome remains one where countries retain space for autonomous IP management. This paper examines the relationship between IP and development, presenting a framework for assessing IP regimes both cross-nationally and over time. It is then shown how the trend toward harmonization places new and significant restrictions on developing countries’ opportunities for policy innovation in IP management. The implications of harmonization for a range of issues are then considered, including late industrialization, promotion of public health, and protection of biodiversity. The paper shows that the new regulations are most accentuated at the regional and bilateral level. Thus, for all of the concerns that academics and policy analysts have legitimately and rightly expressed over TRIPS, the biggest threat to using IP policy as tool for realizing development objectives comes not so much from the World Trade Organization (WTO) as from bilateral and regional Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) between developed and developing countries. I demonstrate this by examining various aspects of IP policy: over and over, we see that countries that are parties to such PTAs have significantly less autonomy in their management of IP. In the conclusion, a set of policy recommendations are put forth, at both regional and multilateral levels, for restoring countries’ ability to use IP as a tool for economic development. The policy challenges are twofold: developing countries must utilize and exploit the remaining opportunities under TRIPS to use IP management for national development purposes, and developing countries must be careful to avoid bargaining away their remaining rights under PTAs.
|Date of creation:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 44 Teele Avenue Medford, MA 02155|
Web page: http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J. Michael Finger & Philip Schuler, 2000. "Implementation of Urugauy Round Commitments: The Development Challenge," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 511-525, 04.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dae:daepap:05-06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erin Coutts)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.