Intellectual Property and Developing Countries: Balancing Rights and Obligations

At the multilateral, regional and local level we can identify, in relation to intellectual property rights (IPRs), a trend toward: broadening of the scope of substantive rules; extending of the term duration and removing the limitations and expectations to rules. As a result, the remaining flexibilities left to the individual countries in how they follow and develop their own IPR strategies, in line with their socio-economic developments needs, diminish, and the public domain shrinks. Do these pursued negotiation strategies do justice to creating a good equilibrium between incentives for creativity and innovation and public policy interests? This book aims to identity available flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement which could be of use to developing country members and provide recommendations for the pursuit of policies tailor-made to development needs. The introduction of IPRs within the framework of the WTO has aroused much controversy, especially amongst developing country members which is the focus of this research. One of the main reasons for this controversy is the lack of cumulative empirical evidence that IPR protection is essential for innovation and economic growth. This book analyses the suitability of traditional knowledge concepts and geographical indications to further the interests of developing countries. In addition, it scrutinises the role IPR protection plays in facilitating international technology transfer. Efforts to support the interests of developing countries and to bring back the public interest balance in the international legal framework for intellectual property protection have resulted in Public Health, the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, the TRIPS Amendment in relation to Compulsory Licensing and the large support for a disclosure of origin requirement. However , translating the theory in to practice concrete actions continues to be a challenge.
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