Intellectual Property Rights Series No. 3

Intellectual property rights and economic development: Historical Lessons and Emerging Issues

Author: Ha-Joon Chang

Publisher: TWN (ISBN: 983-9747-67-3)

Year: 2001   No. of pages: 36

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The TWN IPRs Series is a series of papers published to provide a critical analysis of intellectual property rights protection from a Third World perspective. A particular focus is given to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual property Rights (TRIPS) and its implications for developing countries.

About the book:

The role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in economic development has always been a controversial issue. The debate surrounding it has become even more heated after the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement - a regime that seems to favour advanced country producers over everyone else. The author of this paper contributes to the growing debate by calling for a re-think on the role of IPRs and a reform of the TRIPS Agreement. He asserts that the TRIPS arrangement needs to be radically overhauled or it will be a major point of contention in the World Trade Organbisation (WTO) over the coming years.

A novel feature of this paper is that the author presents his arguments for change from a historical perspective and also bases them on contemporary evidence.

About the author:

Ha-Joon Chang is Assistant Director of Development Studies in the Faculty of Economics and Politics at the University of Cambridge. He is a consultant to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and many other UN organisations. He is also well-sought after as a consultant by many international financial institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and governments of the United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan, Canada, etc.

The author of 'The Political economy of Industrial Policy' and 'El Papel del Estado en el Cambio EconUmico', he has made significant contributions to books, journals and working papers.


1. Introduction

2. Technology transfer, IPRs, and economic development in a historical perspective

3. Intellectual property rights and economic development
The case for and against private Intellectual Property Rights
PIPRs as an incentive to generate new knowledge
PIPRs as an incentive to disclose new knowledge
Problems with the currently-dominant IPRs system
Alternatives to the currently-dominant IPRs system

4. TRIPS and the developing countries
The evolution of the TRIPS agreement
The (alleged) benefits of TRIPS for the developing countries
The costs of TRIPS for the developing countries

5. Conclusion



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US$6.00 for Third World countries

RM8.00 for Malaysia

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