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Research Handbook on the Protection of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules

Research Handbook on the Protection of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules

Intellectual Property in the WTO Volume I

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Carlos M. Correa

This comprehensive Handbook provides an in-depth analysis of the origin and main substantive provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, the most influential international treaty on intellectual property currently in force.

Chapter 4: Enhancing Global Innovation Policy: The Role of WIPO and its Conventions in Interpreting the TRIPS Agreement

Graeme B. Dinwoodie and Rochelle C. Dreyfuss

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law


Graeme B. Dinwoodie and Rochelle C. Dreyfuss* 1 Introduction In recent years, it has become clear that the TRIPS regime is in trouble.1 Although lawmaking in the World Trade Organization (WTO) has essentially stalled,2 there is a continuing need to recalibrate the rules applicable to knowledge production. For developing countries, entry into the WTO was a compromise. When intellectual property lawmaking was centered in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), these nations resisted attempts to increase the level of protection. That changed, however, with the inclusion of intellectual property in negotiations over trade: in return for access to markets in the developed world, developing countries were required to enact and enforce new intellectual property laws.3 While the TRIPS Agreement tried to ease their conversion to greater protection, the transitional provisions it included proved to be largely illusory: the time periods for compliance were too short; the promises of technology transfer and technical assistance, inadequately realized.4 Paradoxically, for some developing * The authors have published a more detailed account of the issues discussed in this chapter see ‘Designing a Global Intellectual Property System Responsive to Change: The WTO, WIPO, and Beyond’, 46 Hous. L. Rev. 1187 (2009). 1 Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1994), Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization [hereinafter WTO Agreement], Annex 1C, Legal Instruments – Results of the Uruguay Round, 33 ILM 1197 (hereinafter TRIPS Agreement or TRIPS). 2 Stephen Castle and Mark Landler, ‘After 7 Years, Talks Collapse on World Trade’, New York Times,...

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