Emerging Markets and the World Patent Order
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Emerging Markets and the World Patent Order

Edited by Frederick M. Abbott, Carlos M. Correa and Peter Drahos

The patent has emerged as a dominant force in 21st century economic policy. This book examines the impact of the BRICS and other emerging economies on the global patent framework and charts the phenomenal rise in the number of patents in some of these countries.
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Chapter 3: The geo-politics of the world patent order

Susan K. Sell


The rise of dynamic emerging markets in Brazil, China, and India raise important questions about both the current and future world patent order. For the past thirty years industrialized countries, led by the United States, have made rules governing intellectual property and have spread their preferred systems of protection abroad. Beginning with bilateral deliberations in the 1970s and 1980s, continuing with the multilateral Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of 1994, the plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deliberations, industrialized countries with high standards of patent protection have made the rules that others have had to follow. Private rights-holders in the United States have profoundly shaped the intellectual property rules that the US government pushes abroad. Yet in the wake of the 2008 US and European financial crisis and the rapid economic rise of China and other dynamic emerging markets, will these rising countries remain rule takers or will they become rule makers in the world patent order? If they do become rule makers, what world would they prefer? Will the future world patent order look like more of the same, albeit with others in charge, or will these countries reshape the world patent order for fundamentally different purposes?

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