Intellectual Property in the WTO Volume I
- Research Handbooks on the WTO series
Edited by Carlos M. Correa
Chapter 8: Intellectual Property Rights and Competition Policy
8 Intellectual property rights and competition policy Beatriz Conde Gallego 1. Introduction: International trade, IPRs and competition By conceiving the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as an integral part of the WTO trading system, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and international trade have been definitively linked. Whereas previous chapters of this Handbook have dealt with different aspects of the relationship between IP protection and international trade liberalisation,1 this chapter adds another dimension, namely the competition dimension. In order to approach the complex issues at the interface between international trade, IPRs and competition, it is worth looking first at the two binomials IP protection/competition and international trade/competition separately. IP protection and competition It may at first sight be somehow surprising to find competition-related elements in an international instrument which has as its purpose the protection of IPRs. The inclusion of competitionrelated rules in the TRIPS Agreement was to a certain extent a concession to the developing countries which, once it was clear that the TRIPS Agreement would cover issues beyond counterfeiting and piracy, insisted on having competition rules as a component of TRIPS.2 Indeed, the request by developing countries for competition rules largely reflects their understanding of IPRs as a danger to competition.3 Despite the negotiat- 1 See, for example, Chapter 1 of Volume II; Frankel, Susy (2010), ‘The applicability of GATT jurisprudence to the interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement’, in Correa, Carlos M. (ed.), Research Handbook on the Interpretation and Enforcement of Intellectual Property under...
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