The International Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights
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The International Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights

Meir Perez Pugatch

This book investigates the realm of intellectual property rights (IPRs) within the context of international political economy. In particular, it examines the extent to which powerful interest groups, such as pharmaceutical multinational companies, influence the political dynamism underlying the field of IPRs. Meir Perez Pugatch argues that a pure economic approach does not provide a sufficient or satisfactory explanation for the creation of intellectual property rights, most notably patents. The author instead suggests that a dynamic approach, based on the international political economy of interest groups and systemic outcomes, provides a better starting point for explaining how the international intellectual property agenda is determined.
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Chapter 9: The Dynamics of Change within the Framework of IPRs

Meir Perez Pugatch


9.1 ANSWERING THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION The author of this book was motivated and challenged by one key question: why is such strong international intellectual property protection in place and how did this come about? More specifically, the book explores the manner in which the advanced pharmaceutical industry in Europe and its IP allies helped in shaping and preserving the global intellectual property system of the TRIPs agreement between 1995 and 1999. The key conclusion is that the advanced pharmaceutical industry was successful in mobilizing national and regional authorities, such as the EU, and thereby played a significant role in the creation, preservation and exploitation of this strong international system of pharmaceutical IPRs. The process and rationale leading to this conclusion as enumerated in previous chapters is described below. 9.1.1 The Inadequate Economic Justification for the Establishment of IPRs The overall goal of this book has been to investigate the international economic phenomenon of IPRs by using political tools. Accordingly, the theoretical framework was selected by a process of elimination, that is by assessing the feasibility of economic explanation of IPRs before moving to the political dimension. Initially, it was necessary to consider the economic desirability of IPRs and their implications on society as a whole (so-called IPRs in a closed economy). Economists should tell us whether, on balance, a system of IPRs, or more accurately a system of intellectual monopoly rights, generates a net loss or a net benefit to society. Unfortunately thus far, or at least...

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