Towards a New IP World Order?
Edited by Gustavo Ghidini, Rudolph J.R. Peritz and Marco Ricolfi
Chapter 5: On TRIPS' impact on 'least developed countries': The effects of a 'double standards' approach
It is undisputed evidence that the dynamics of trans-national economic integration have altered the traditional dialectic 'Developed vs. Developing' countries. The qualification itself of countries as 'developing' is under continuous revision in the face of the growth of emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, China and others. Accordingly, even the debates on IPRs-related issues must be re-oriented in the light of the new balances of power, first of all to reckon with the prospective decline of 'unilateralism' in international relations, so far largely framed by a traditionally dominant (and even diplomatically boosted) 'Washington consensus'. (As Graham Dutfield has asked, "Will the United States government be so pro-patent when the proportion of domestic patents granted to Indian and Chinese inventors increases dramatically?") However, the hypothesis that the progress of international economic integration might per se ensure a general 'rebalancing' of the traditionally dominant IP law patterns, is far from settled, in particular as concerns the least developed countries (art. 66 TRIPs; henceforth: LDCs), which constitute today's real frontier of the geopolitical trade competition issue that has historically divided the 'two worlds' emerging from the colonial era. On one hand the 'double speed' of the dynamics of exit from underdevelopment is all too evident.
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