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The Political Economy of the World Trading SystemWTO and Beyond$
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Bernard Hoekman and Michel Kostecki

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019829431X.001.0001

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Protection of Intellectual Property

Protection of Intellectual Property

(p.274) 8 Protection of Intellectual Property
The Political Economy of the World Trading System

Bernard M. Hoekman

Michel M. Kostecki (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

An overview is provided of the economic rationales for protection of IPRs (intellectual property rights) and the reasons behind moves to adopt multilateral rules in this area. Some of the major conflicts of interest that shaped the TRIPs (Trade‐Related Intellectual Property Rights) agreement on this are summarized, as are the basic elements of the substantive disciplines imposed. The agreement is unique in the WTO (World Trade Organization) context in that it imposes obligations upon governments to adopt a set of substantive rules in an area that traditionally has been regarded as the purview of domestic regulation. It is an example of what Tinbergen (1954) has called ‘positive integration’; this is in contrast with the ‘negative’ integration found in the GATT, which involves agreements not to use certain policies that directly affect (distort) trade flows––such as export subsidies or quotas––or if used, imposes constraints on when and how trade policies may be applied. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of implementation‐related questions, focusing in particular on the options that exist to reduce the potential negative aspects of stronger IPRs on national welfare. The different sections are as follows: Intellectual property and international trade; International conventions and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) history; The Uruguay Round negotiations; WTO rules on intellectual property rights; Implementation concerns and challenges; and Conclusion.

Keywords:   GATT, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, history, implementation, intellectual property, intellectual property rights, international trade, IPRs, multilateral rules, positive integration, trade flows, trade policy, Trade‐Related Intellectual Property Rights, TRIPs, Uruguay Round, World Trade Organization, WTO

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