Globalisation of Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines
Author: Hiroko Yamane
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
View: 763Protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has become a global issue. The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement outlines the minimum standards for IPR protection for WTO members and offers a global regime for IPR protection. However, the benefits of TRIPS are more questionable in poorer countries where national infrastructure for research and development (R&D) and social protection are inadequate, whereas the cost of innovation is high. Today, after more than a decade of intense debate over global IPR protection, the problems remain acute, although there is also evidence of progress and cooperation. This book examines various views of the role of IPRs as incentives for innovation against the backdrop of development and the transfer of technology between globalised, knowledge-based, high technology economies. The book retraces the origins, content and interpretations of the TRIPS Agreement, including its interpretations by WTO dispute settlement organs. It also analyses sources of controversy over IPRs, examining pharmaceutical industry strategies of emerging countries with different IPR policies. The continuing international debate over IPRs is examined in depth, as are TRIPS rules and the controversy about implementing the 'flexibilities' of the Agreement in the light of national policy objectives. The author concludes that for governments in developing countries, as well as for their business and scientific communities, a great deal depends on domestic policy objectives and their implementation. IPR protection should be supporting domestic policies for innovation and investment. This, in turn requires a re-casting of the debate about TRIPS, to place cooperation in global and efficient R&D at the heart of concerns over IPR protection.