Fostering Innovation and Development
Edited by Christopher Arup and William van Caenegem
Chapter 1: Themes and Prospects for Intellectual Property Law Reform
1. Themes and prospects for intellectual property law reform Christopher Arup and William van Caenegem When we set out to collect papers around our theme, we were encouraged by a mood of constructive criticism concerning the roles that intellectual property has come to play in innovation and creativity. Broadly the criticisms concern two developments: (1) the strength of intellectual property endowments and entitlements and (2) the proliferation and manipulation of claims to intellectual property rights (see Maskus and Reichman 2005). The criticism largely comes from academic scholars and sets that community apart from practitioners who are perforce involved in pursuing the possibilities within the current laws. The criticism is constructive. Very real questions remain about the social value of intellectual property, at least for some sectors of the economy and locations around the world. It is prudent to keep alternatives to intellectual property in mind when designing new policies, for there are many other ways that innovation and creativity can be furthered. Nonetheless, academic scholars are generally thinking of ways to improve intellectual property through the institution of reforms. That is the flavour of our contributions. Essentially they pursue two lines. The first is for more rigour and discernment when deciding whether to confer intellectual property rights. This, it could be said, is merely to insist that intellectual property only rewards efforts that are innovative and creative. The second is to influence how people use intellectual property rights; specifically how they transact in them. The aim is to encourage openness,...
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