Trade, Law and Development, Vol 4, No 2 (2012)

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Challenges in Intellectual Property Governance: Providing the Right Incentives in the Quest for Global Innovation

Daniel Gervais


The notion of governance is increasingly applied to the field of intellectual property. In this note, I explore how countries should make policy decisions in this key area, by keeping their focus on the promotion of domestic innovation while minimizing negative welfare impacts. The latter objective was well known when the TRIPS Agreement was negotiated in the 1990s, but the former, much less apparent. In this note, I consider recent research on innovation clusters and ways in which government, private capital and higher education institutions can work together, and specifically ways in which governments can “incentivize the quest” for innovation. I also discuss problems associated with the creation of incentives, including “patent trolls” and ways in which intellectual property might hinder full use of the internet as an innovation vector.

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ISSN: 0976-2329 | eISSN: 0975-3346 | © 2009-13 Trade, Law and Development |   open access

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