IILJ Working Paper 2009/5

The Role of India, China, Brazil and Other Emerging Economies in Establishing Access Norms for Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Lawmaking

Rochelle C . Dreyfuss

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This paper discusses the role that emerging economies could play in rendering intellectual property law and lawmaking more responsive to changing conditions. At present, neither the North nor the South is likely to challenge the accommodations made in the TRIPS Agreement. In the North, the politics of change is complex; the South largely lacks expertise. But emerging economies have the political will to improve access to the world’s intellectual output on behalf of their poorest citizens. At the same time, they have growing creative sectors and thick legal and political cultures, capable of striking new and imaginative balances between proprietary and access interests. Because the goals of these economies are best served by partnering with least-developed countries and members of civil society interested in IP issues, these nations also have an incentive to improve another type of access norms—norms of participation, fairness and transparency in international lawmaking. These nations are, in other words, in a unique position to contribute to the reforms that are the cornerstone of the global administrative law agenda.