- ATRIP Intellectual Property series
Edited by Graeme B. Dinwoodie
Chapter 12: Understanding intellectual property
There is a traditional prevailing view among IP lawyers that in order to understand intellectual property we need to know something about technology (including natural sciences) and economics.It has been much less common, even rare, to hear arguments that we need knowledge in political science in order to grasp the complex realities and developments of IP today. It is, however, gradually becoming accepted that political science in the broad sense might be relevant for understanding the regulatory development and evolution of IP law. In the following chapter I will present some reflections of this development and also comment on some efforts to focus on IP from the perspective of research within political science. Many authors describe the development of the global IP governance as a process that is characterized by a strong politicization of intellectual property rights. The term politicization here refers to the fact that IP has become the object for tense political controversies. There are two rather different, but significant developments of the intellectual property regulatory evolution, which often are referred to in this context. The first one is the introduction of the new international trade-related IP regime, with the adoption of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as the symbolic landmark. The second is related to the digital revolution and Internet, more specifically to the control of information and copyright in this new environment. I will address these developments separately.
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