Chapter 3: Economic and Political Explanations for the Emergence of a Stronger International IP System
INTRODUCTION 3.1 To understand the emergence of a stronger international IP system one must shift oneʼs attention from the perspective of the community as a whole to that of the individual country. The ability to create new types of IP-related products varies between countries. Also different are the costs and benefits that these countries face when deciding whether to support, or to oppose, a stronger international IP agenda. This chapter reviews and assesses some explanations concerning countriesʼ decisions to commit themselves to a stronger international IP system. For clarity, it makes a distinction between ʻnorthʼ (developed) and ʻsouthʼ (developing) that is between capable and less-capable countries in the field of IP, in order to study the effects of a stronger international IP system. The distinction, as will later be shown, is both theoretically and empirically valid. The chapter assumes the existence of two major elements in the international IP system. The first and most fundamental element is the principle of ʻnational treatmentʼ, requiring member countries to treat the nationals of other countries no less favourably than their own. National treatment will thus enable foreigners to exploit their IPRs in countries other than their own. Yet, since countries may still have considerable gaps in the scope of their IP legislation, the principle of national treatment in itself is insufficient. For example, under the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883, in which the principle of national treatment was first adopted with regard to IPRs, both Switzerland and...
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