Intellectual property, creativity and innovation : IP models and the political economy of developing Asia

Antons, Christoph 2010, Intellectual property, creativity and innovation : IP models and the political economy of developing Asia, in Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, [Law and Society Association], [Chicago, Ill.].

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Title Intellectual property, creativity and innovation : IP models and the political economy of developing Asia
Author(s) Antons, Christoph
Conference name Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association (2010 : Chicago, Ill.)
Conference location Chicago, Ill.
Conference dates 27-30 May 2010
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2010
Conference series Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association
Publisher [Law and Society Association]
Place of publication [Chicago, Ill.]
Summary In advanced capitalist societies, intellectual property laws protecting such subject matter as copyright and patents are justified by a combination of theories, which include the provision of economic incentives to foster creativity and innovation and the prevention of unfair competition. IP academics and policy makers have differing views about the appropriate balance between these objectives and public interest considerations such as health, education and the protection of the environment. These different views entered the policy debate in Asian developing countries in connection with an unprecedented introduction and expansion of IP laws over the last 25 years. This paper will use case studies of law reform from Asia, in particular Southeast Asia, to show that the policy considerations of governments in reforming their laws were often quite different from the standard rationale mentioned above. As much of the IP was, at least initially, held by foreigners and introduced to attract foreign investment, national development considerations were joined with the more commonly quoted objectives to promote the rights, creativity and innovation of individuals. Such national development objectives at times coincided and at other times collided with official explanations and received wisdom about the effects of stronger IP rights.

Especially in the early postcolonial period, copyright laws and other IP laws were frequently restricted or simply not implemented, if they conflicted with development policies in areas such as education or public health. Such policies were slowly changing in the wake of WTO-TRIPS and other international agreements. Nevertheless, the implementation and enforcement of the IP laws has been uneven. Specialised institutions such as courts and IP administering agencies compete with other branches of government and administration for limited funding and a rich repertoire of informal dispute settlement procedures has kept the number of court cases relatively low. In some countries, censorship laws have influenced freedom of expression and led to quite idiosyncratic interpretations of intellectual property laws. Governments often also retain a role in the assessment of licensing and technology transfer contracts. And while there are many programs to foster individual creativity, in most cases R & D activities are still largely taking place in government institutions and this has influenced the thinking about intellectual property rights and creativity in the context of employment.

The paper uses a few case studies to examine the implementation of IP laws in selected Asian developing countries to point to the quite different institutional setting for IP law reform in comparison to European or American models. It reaches some tentative conclusions as to the likely effects on creativity and innovation under these different circumstances.
Language eng
Field of Research 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
HERDC Research category E3.1 Extract of paper
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