Towards a New IP World Order?
Edited by Gustavo Ghidini, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Marco Ricolfi
Since its inception in 1994, the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has embodied the orthodox view that enforcing strong intellectual property rights (IPRs) is necessary to solve problems of trade and development. The Doha Declaration of 2001 offered short periods of special dispensation, especially to least developed countries, and proclaimed one goal to be the promotion of "access to medicines for all." Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that the Declaration did not disturb the orthodox view of strong IPRs reflected in TRIPS. The editors of this collection reject this view and the traditional development theory that underlies it, particularly the theory's binary model of the world as comprising developed countries and all the rest who must follow the IPR-laden path to development. The editors share the conviction that the TRIPS regime of strong IPRs is increasingly out of phase with the shifting geopolitical dynamics of multilateralism in international relations, a multilateralism in which human rights has become a progressively more influential factor in shaping trade and development policy. The editors of this collection ask: How can TRIPS mature further into an institution that supports a view of economic development which incorporates the ensemble of human rights now seen as encompassing a more comprehensive set of collective interests that includes public health, environment, and nutrition? In particular how can this twenty-first century congregation of human rights provide a pragmatic ethic for accomplishing a rapport with IPRs in the new landscape of development policy?