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 8: Protecting the International Pharmaceutical IP Agenda of TRIPs: Strategies and Activities of the Advanced Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe between 1995 and 1999

Meir Perez Pugatch

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


INTRODUCTION 8.1 Although the establishment of the TRIPs agreement clearly required a considerable effort on the part of IP advocates, exploiting TRIPs benefits and preserving its achievements proved to be an equally challenging task. As the controversy surrounding TRIPs intensified, particularly from 1999, IP advocates, such as the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe, were, for the first time, on the defensive. In the light of the new situation, the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe found itself pursuing two contradictory goals: (1) exploiting the benefits derived from the TRIPs agreement, and (2) preventing TRIPs from being downgraded to a lower level of IP protection. This chapter links the industryʼs strategies and activities concerning the exploitation and preservation of TRIPs to the EUʼs IP approach and operations between 1995 and 1999. First, the chapter focuses on the declarative level, describing the views of the EU and of its member states (UK, Germany) concerning IPRs and the TRIPs agreement. Second, the chapter analyses the operational level, assessing TRIPs-related activities of both the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the EU. It does so by focusing on two periods: (1) 1995–1998, during which operations were aimed at exploiting TRIPs benefits, and (2) end of 1998 up to the Seattle ministerial meeting, when industry–EU activities shifted towards the preservation of the TRIPs agreement. Finally, the chapter puts great emphasis on the combined efforts of the industry and of its regional and international IP allies, such as IFPMA,...

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