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The globalisation of intellectual property rights: four learned lessons and four theses

  • Archibugi, Daniele
  • Filippetti, Andrea

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have become ubiquitous in the current debate and have emerged as the key issue of global innovation policy. The ‘Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights’ (TRIPS) Agreement, signed in 1994 as a founding element of the World Trade Organisation, represents the most important attempt to establish a global harmonisation of Intellectual Property protection. The aim of this article is to re-examine critically what has become the common wisdom around IPRs, TRIPS and their effects. We argue that supporters of IPRs in western corporations and governments as well as detractors in global movements and developing countries have overestimated their importance in the process of generation and diffusion of knowledge and innovation. On the basis of some key learned lessons on the nature of innovation and technological change, we assess four theses about TRIPS and its impact on the global generation and distribution of knowledge. Finally, the policy implications concerning international organisations and technological transfer are discussed

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21930.

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Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Global Policy 2.1(2010): pp. 137-149
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21930
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