IP and Development– A Road Map for Developing Countries in the 21st Century
The value of an intellectual property (IP) regime to a developing country (or for that matter a developed country) is the subject of increasing debate. On one side IP evangelists argue that IP laws can stimulate untold innovation and provide a foundation for economic progress. On the other side IP sceptics or abolitionists question whether IP laws really incentivise innovation or simply represent an unforeseen burden on social and economic development. The reality for many countries is that while theoretical debates are important they do not provide immediate solutions. For this reason, we want to put the polarising debates to one side and focus on how developing countries can utilise and sensitize IP to their development needs. In order to do this in the following pages, we outline current thoughts on development theory, how it informs IP law and practice and then produce same practical suggestions about ways in which developing countries can grow and implement IP regimes that are more supportive of their needs.