Emerging Issues in International Business Research

Emerging Issues in International Business Research

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Masaaki Kotabe and Preet S. Aulakh

Top scholars in the field of international business (IB) contribute to this comprehensive analysis of the current state-of-the-art in IB research. The focus of the book is to examine the current state of international business research from an issue-oriented approach rather than the functional approaches that have been characteristic in the recent evolution of the field. In evaluating the current state and future research directions in research areas unique to international business, the book is structured in three parts: the macro-environment, interactions between business and institutions, and competition and strategy.

Chapter 3: Intellectual Property Rights and International Business

Subhash C. Jain

Subjects: business and management, 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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