Edited by Gustavo Ghidini, Hanns Ullrich and Peter Drahos
Chapter 8: It’s raining carrots: the trajectory of increased intellectual property protection
The article explores what may be some unintended effects of the increasing depth and breadth of intellectual property rights. First, the various methods of increases in intellectual property protections are discussed. The second part presents an analysis of what is incentivised by these various modes of increase and what trajectories such modes create. The third part discusses the various areas in which intellectual property has reached a kind of tipping point in which overprotection is meeting hurdles and occasionally being curbed. Intellectual property related incentives may sometimes work but are ever context dependent and are not always effective. Too many incentives can cause complacency. The globalisation of incentives means that, at least in theory, they are there for everyone. Those who are new to the intellectual property game have responded to the framework. China, may even be an example of a country that is making better use of intellectual property than was anticipated by those whose incentive rhetoric built the global standards of intellectual property. This article concludes that the increasing levels of protection and the diverse range of incentives (carrots) has begun to and may well continue to backfire in at least two ways. First, the carrots no longer incentivise and, second, those who created the so-called incentive framework might be beaten at their own game. Keywords copyright, free trade agreements, globalisation, incentives, intellectual property, TRIPS Agreement, patents
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