Intellectual Property Rights in World Trade

Title: 

Intellectual Property Rights in World Trade

in Research Handbook in International Economic Law 444-84 (A. Guzman & A. Sykes) (Edward Elgar 2007)

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Technology has always played a significant role in economic development and the shifting fortunes of nations. Yet when the GATT was established in 1947, very limited attention was paid to 'intellectual property.' This is largelyexplained by the evolution of an international system for the regulation of intellectual property (IP) under the auspices of what today is known as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). As a subject of international regulation, intellectual property had not been overlooked. In fact, it was perhaps the first element of world trade subject to truly multilateral discipline with the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883 and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work of 1886.

IP is regulated at the multilateral, regional, bilateral, national and subnational levels. This chapter focuses on the multilateral regulatory system largely concentrated at the WTO and WIPO, but also refers to regulation at other levels of governance.