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International Licensing and the Strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries


  • Walter G. Park
  • Douglas C. Lippoldt


This study presents an empirical analysis of the extent to which stronger intellectual property rights promote international technology transfer through licensing activities. The analysis focuses on licensing activities of U.S. multinationals as well as on international licensing alliances between firms in developing and developed nations. Both aggregate level data and firm level data are examined. The study provides general support for the proposition that the strengthening of intellectual property rights - as measured by selected indicators - has had a net positive effect on technology transfer via licensing during the 1990s. The general implication of this study for developing economies is that IPR reform should be one part of a general strategy for promoting economic development in combination with other complementary policy reforms. In particular, patent rights and effective enforcement can be instrumental in enabling firms in developing nations to access and exploit technologies and know-how through licensing agreements with parties in developed nations. Overall, the analysis presented here indicates that where developing countries have moved to address weaknesses in these areas in recent years, they have tended to experience enhanced access to technology through licensing.

Suggested Citation

  • Walter G. Park & Douglas C. Lippoldt, 2004. "International Licensing and the Strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries," OECD Trade Policy Papers 10, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:10-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eria, . "Reforming The Intellectual Property System to Promote Foreign Direct Investment in ASEAN," Books, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), number 2013-rpr-16 edited by Eria.
    2. Sunil Kanwar, 2010. "Intellectual Property Protection and the Licensing of Technology to Developing Countries," Working Papers id:2830, eSocialSciences.
    3. Carol A. Robbins, 2009. "Measuring Payments for the Supply and Use of Intellectual Property," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 139-171 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W., 2009. "International R&D spillovers and institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 723-741, October.
    5. Papageorgiadis, Nikolaos & Cross, Adam R. & Alexiou, Constantinos, 2013. "The impact of the institution of patent protection and enforcement on entry mode strategy: A panel data investigation of U.S. firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 278-292.

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    economic development; intellectual property rights; licensing;

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