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 7: Opposition of Developing Countries and LDCs to the TRIPs Pharmaceutical IP Agenda

Meir Perez Pugatch

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


INTRODUCTION 7.1 Prior to discussing the strategies and activities of the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe (which aimed at exploiting and preserving the international pharmaceutical IP agenda established by the TRIPs agreement), it is important to investigate the controversy surrounding the agreement between 1995 and 1999. This places the activities of the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe in a broader and more accurate context. The deep divide between north and south did not vanish with the coming into effect of the TRIPs agreement in 1995. On the contrary, the resentment of developing countries and LDCs increased as the revolution caused by TRIPs in terms of the global level of IP protection became more and more evident. This chapter provides a brief overview of the opposition of developing countries and LDCs to TRIPs in general, and to its pharmaceutical IP agenda in particular, between 1996 and 1999. Opposition to TRIPs is divided into two periods: • 1996 to 1998 – during which time criticism against TRIPs by developing countries and LDCs was rather mute. • 1999 and onwards (particularly towards the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle, November 1999) – when opposition to TRIPs became highly vocal and goal-orientated. We demonstrate the above by examining the official statements and demands of WTO members during the ministerial meetings of 1996, 1998 and 1999. 7.2 REACTIONS TO TRIPS DURING THE WTO MINISTERIAL MEETINGS OF 1996 AND 1998 During the 1996 ministerial meeting, held in Singapore between the 9 and 13 December 1996, the TRIPs agreement was not...

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