New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Masaaki Kotabe and Preet S. Aulakh
Chapter 3: Intellectual Property Rights and International Business
Subhash C. Jain Intellectual property is deﬁned as the ideas and technologies which are the fruits of human creativity. It refers to a broad collection of innovations relating to things such as works of authorship, inventions, trademarks, designs, and trade secrets. Its two main branches are: (a) industrial property, covering inventions, trademarks, industrial design, and protection against unfair competition, including protection of trade secrets; and (b) copyrights, which concern literary, musical, artistic, photographic, and cinematographic works. No international treaty completely deﬁnes these types of intellectual property, and the laws of various countries differ from each other in signiﬁcant respects. National intellectual property laws create, conﬁrm, or regulate a property right without which others could use or copy a trade secret, an expression, a design, a product or its mark and packaging. As far as international protection of intellectual property rights is concerned, it was held as a legal matter to be dealt with by lawyers. In the 1980s, however, international protection of intellectual property became an important trade-related policy issue for the US. While US competitiveness in manufacturing industries has been declining, America is ahead of the rest of the world on its trade in ideas (Spero 1990). For example, in 1991, America ran a $15 billion surplus on its trade in ideas (The Economist 1992a). Most other developed countries, by contrast, pay more for technology licenses and copyrights than they earn from them. American companies apply for many more foreign patents than any of their...
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