INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, DEVELOPMENT, AND CATCH UP. An International Comparative Study.
For most countries, economic
development involves a process of 'catching up' with leading countries at the
time. This is never achieved solely by physical assets and labour alone: also
needed are the accumulation of technological capabilities, educational
attainment, entrepreneurship, and the development of the necessary institutional
infrastructure. One element of this infrastructure is the regime of intellectual
property rights (IPR), particularly patents. Patents may promote innovation and
catch up, and they may foster formal technology transfer. Yet they may also
prove to be barriers for developing countries that intend to acquire
technologies through imitation and reverse engineering. The current move to
harmonize the IPR system internationally, such as the TRIPS agreement, may thus
have unexpected consequences for developing countries.
This book explores these issues through an in depth study of eleven countries ranging from early developers (the USA, Nordic Countries and Japan), and Post World War 2 countries (Korea, Taiwan, Israel) to more recent emerging economies (Argentina, Brazil, China, India and Thailand).