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Alison Slade

This chapter argues that by asserting the legal values and constitutional priorities of the national legal order, domestic courts can provide decentralised influence over the nature and scope of international Intellectual Property (IP) norms. Thus, national courts can equally be conceived as creators, partners and challengers in the formation, interpretation and application of international IP. Illustrative reference will be made to legislative and judicial activities in India, where innovative IP legislation and the pioneering decisions of India’s most senior courts, are having implications beyond national borders. As will be demonstrated in the Indian context, the external pressure to conform to higher IP standards is ever present. Yet, domestic courts have an important role in resisting such pressure. By asserting the authority of national constitutions, and supporting international norms, national court decisions assist in defining what should be the parameters of intellectual property norms at both the national and international level.