Variation in TRIPS Implementation (1995–2007)

Carolyn Deere

in The Implementation Game

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199550616
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720284 | DOI:
Variation in TRIPS Implementation (1995–2007)

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Drawing on a survey of evidence from 1995 to 2007, this chapter highlights a selection of the most striking elements of variation in how developing countries implemented TRIPS. It shows that countries took varying advantage of the legal safeguards and options in TRIPS, particularly in terms of the timing of legislative reforms and the use of key flexibilities in areas such as copyright, patents, and plant variety protection. The chapter proposes a typology of the overall degree to which countries took advantage of TRIPS flexibilities. It concludes that important aspects of variation sit at odds with the predictions of economists and their positions in international IP negotiations, thus making the case for political analysis of the reasons for variation. While some aspects of variation appear to reflect national economic circumstances and changing sectoral interests in developing countries, significant aspects do not. The divergence is particularly in the case of LDCs that adopted TRIPS‐plus approaches to implementation.

Keywords: copyright; patents; trademark; plant variety protection; flexibilities; TRIPS; reform; implementation; TRIPS‐plus

Chapter.  21275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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