Edited by Frederick M. Abbott, Carlos M. Correa and Peter Drahos
Chapter 15: IP policy and regulation in the Arab world: Changes, challenges and opportunities
The Arab world is witnessing a wave of change unrivalled in modern times. Although the region has been subject to a variety of calamities during the past century, one unique feature about this current wave of change lies in its origins; a movement largely arising from within rather than due to foreign factors. To those acquainted with the politics of the region, it is clear that, although the ‘Arab Spring’ officially commenced with the Tunisian ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in the early days of 2010, the roots and origins of such a revolution pre-date that particular event by many decades. Such change may be attributed to many factors including poverty, rising unemployment, youth neglect, lack of institutions and ever-growing corruption at the state level in many countries of the region. Although Arabs are yet to reap the fruits of the ‘Spring’, many hope that the movement initiated in the wake of such developments will in the long run trigger a modern day Arab ‘renaissance’ movement, a movement for which many Arabs have been longing for many centuries. The same applies to the development of patent and other intellectual property laws in the Arab world. Originally imposed by colonial powers, these laws were developed under their mandate, and continued their evolution and development in the post-independence era in line with the interests of the key technology producers from the Western world.
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