The International Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights

The International Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights

New Horizons in Intellectual Property series

Meir Perez Pugatch

This book investigates the realm of intellectual property rights (IPRs) within the context of international political economy. In particular, it examines the extent to which powerful interest groups, such as pharmaceutical multinational companies, influence the political dynamism underlying the field of IPRs. Meir Perez Pugatch argues that a pure economic approach does not provide a sufficient or satisfactory explanation for the creation of intellectual property rights, most notably patents. The author instead suggests that a dynamic approach, based on the international political economy of interest groups and systemic outcomes, provides a better starting point for explaining how the international intellectual property agenda is determined.

Chapter 5: Core IP Interests and the Organizational Structure of the Advanced Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe

Meir Perez Pugatch

Subjects: economics and finance, intellectual property, international economics, law - academic, intellectual property law


INTRODUCTION 5.1 The fact that IPRs provide a powerful incentive for collective action in the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe was established in the previous chapter. This chapter identifies the specific IP objectives of the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe, and, more importantly, describes the organizational structure through which the industry pursues its IP interests.1 It demonstrates the high levels of uniformity and cooperation among pharmaceutical MNCs regarding IPRs. First, the chapter identifies the primary IP interests of the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe. The focus here is on interests per se and not on the strategies and activities taken by the industry in order to secure these interests (elaborated in Chapter 8). Second, it maps the intra-industry (vertical) IP organizational structure of the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe, at the national, regional and international levels. Third, it identifies the inter-industry (horizontal) IP build-up, through which European-based pharmaceutical MNCs coordinate their position with dominant ʻplayersʼ from other industries, such as chemical and software companies. Particular emphasis is placed on the ability of pharmaceutical MNCs to preserve their position and dominance throughout the different levels of intra-industry and inter-industry IP organizational structure. It should be noted, however, that although the author aims to provide detailed and precise information regarding the specific structures dealing with IPRs (of industry and government) during the period 1995 to 2000, some of these structures might have changed their names or their functions. 5.2 PRIMARY IP INTERESTS: SECURING AND MAINTAINING A STRONG...

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