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Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to improve the present patent system

Author

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  • Ignazio Musu

    () (Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari")

Abstract

The paper discusses two types of problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to agro-biotechnological innovations in the relation between developed and developing countries. First, protecting property rights on innovations creates incentives towards further research and innovation, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assigning of the right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of the innovation, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the power of exclusion of the holder of an intellectual property right limits access to the newly produced knowledge: this may discourage the process of producing new knowledge, harming developing countries. Moreover the property right holder may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation, which is also harmful to developing countries. It is shown that these problems cannot be solved by denying protection to property rights on innovations, but by improving procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with appropriate liability rules and antitrust measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignazio Musu, 2006. "Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to improve the present patent system," Working Papers 2006_01, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari", revised 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2006_01
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    Keywords

    Intellectual property rights; Biotechnology; Patent system;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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