The Global Debate on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and Developing Countries
by Carsten Fink, Carlos Correa
Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Series • Issue Paper 22
Issue paper 22, The Global Debate on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and Developing Countries brings together two studies: The first by Carsten Fink entitled Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights: An Economic Perspective and the second by Carlos Correa entitled The Push for Stronger IPRs Enforcement Rules: Implications for Developing Countries.
The enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has gained prominence in recent years on the global trade and intellectual property agenda. A number of initiatives and developments in this area at the global, regional and bilateral level carry wide reaching implications for the regulation of the knowledge economy.
In the first study, Carsten Fink provides a much needed economic perspective on the enforcement of IPRs. Some of the key conclusions and recommendations of the study are the following :
· There is little empirical evidence that would shed light on the economic impact of piracy and counterfeiting.
· The appropriate allocation of resources for IPRs enforcement is a major challenge for developing countries, where many public goods are underprovided and enforcement challenges exist in many areas of law.
· Appropriate funding of competent government agencies in developing countries is necessary for IPRs enforcement;
· Since developed country firms derive a direct benefit from stronger IPRs enforcement, it may indeed be in the interest of their governments to subsidize IPRs enforcement activities in developing countries. It could also be envisaged that enforcement costs be borne directly by private rights holders.
· If weak IPRs enforcement in developing countries reflects fundamental institutional deficiencies, it is not clear how far obligations in trade agreements or technical assistance activities can at all remedy such deficiencies.
· Outside incentives—whether positive or negative—may well make a difference in containing counterfeiting and piracy activities and their international proliferation. However, in many cases, sustained reductions in IPRs violations may invariably have to wait for broader institutional development
In the second study, Carlos Correa addresses the push for stronger IPRs enforcement rules and its implications for developing countries. Some of the key conclusions and recommendations of the study are the following:
· A number of initiatives have been recently launched with the aim of strengthening IPRs enforcement rules beyond the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement.
· Although the TRIPS Agreement requires criminal sanctions only in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale, the current enforcement drive aims at criminalizing other infringing acts, inclduding patent infringement.
· Developed countries’ governments and industry are actively seeking to induce changes in the regulation of border measures in developing countries, beyond what is required under the TRIPS Agreement. They aim, inter alia, at broadening their scope and at reducing the requirements imposed on right holders to obtain such measures.
· A major issue in the enforcement drive is the relation between IP and health. The application of an IP approach to what is essentially a public health issue may lead to the adoption of an inadequate set of measures. In the case of counterfeit medicines, the appropriate design and implementation of drug regulations is the most critical element in combating counterfeiting in medicines.
One response to “The Global Debate on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and Developing Countries”
Add a comment
Enter your details and a comment below, then click Submit Comment. We’ll review and publish the best comments.