Fostering Innovation and Development
Edited by Christopher Arup and William van Caenegem
8. Intellectual property, innovation and openness Ulf Petrusson and Caroline Pamp I. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TO PROMOTE INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT: SETTING THE SCENE When we discuss whether intellectual property has a positive or negative impact on innovation and development, we tend to focus on intellectual property rights (IPRs) regulation. We ask ourselves if patent regulation has an economically positive impact or not. Those of us who have a positive attitude tend to frame the discussion as a discussion of IPR protections as incentives for creativity and innovative activities. We tend to discuss how IPR regulations attract foreign investment and foreign out-sourcing. A conclusion is often that the protection against piracy is a cornerstone of a globalized economy. If we instead are more sceptical towards IPRs, it is more relevant to frame the discussion as a question of whether patent regulation and the other IPRs only work in the interests of the financially strong actors in the industrial world. We tend to discuss the risks that the TRIPs provisions will result in blocking: (1) knowledge sharing and technology transfer, (2) usage of traditional knowledge, (3) research efforts, (4) indigenous innovation, (5) diagnoses, treatments and cures, and (6) ultimately development overall. That we focus on regulation means that if we are critical we will question the IPR regime per se as well as whether the IPR provisions are well balanced. On the level of provisions, we will question the criteria of protectability, the scope, the time period possible to uphold the IPR, the...
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