Development Agendas in a Changing World
Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe
Chapter 4: A Perspective on Reform in Arab Countries
Ahmed Abdel Latif INTRODUCTION The conclusion of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), from the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations (1994), ushered in an unprecedented interest in the protection of intellectual property (IP), particularly concerning the impact of new global IP rules on developing countries. Developments relating to the protection of IP in the Arab world, however, have generally received less attention than those in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In recent years, the dominant discourse on IP in the Arab world has focused mainly on the importance of compliance with international IP obligations and the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs). In response, the aim of this chapter is to stress the need for Arab countries to adopt a more development-oriented perspective on IP protection that views this protection in the wider context of its relation to other public policy objectives and overall development efforts. Some general trends and developments in the field of IP and their impact on Arab countries are first examined. A number of recommendations are then suggested in order for Arab countries to advance towards more development-oriented IP policies. CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS AND TRENDS IN THE IP FIELD Current developments and trends in the field of IP can be observed at both institutional and substantive levels. Developments at the Institutional Level Two distinctive trends have appeared at the institutional level in recent years. The first relates to the proliferation of forums and processes involved in IP standard-setting in multilateral, regional and bilateral...
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