Developing countries’ pursuit of an intellectual property law balance under the WTO TRIPS Agreement

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Progressive and steady technological advancement in developing countries has generated serious debate whether government discretion to manoeuvre IP laws is unduly curbed by the ever-increasing and fragmented international regulatory regime. The global regime has expanded from WIPO conventions to TRIPS at the WTO, and to a myriad of regional and bilateral agreements stipulating TRIPS-plus standards. The way that a harmonized IP fashion operates affects internal decisions in striking a proper balance between incentives to create and those to promote dynamic competition. For developing countries, the ultimate goal is to transform to a knowledge-based and innovative economy. In this regard, the TRIPS “balance” objective is ambiguously formulated and hence cannot be actively considered by WTO panels. Secondly, conditions in the individual exceptions are so restrictively applied that governments are set back from devising innovative exceptions to balance their obligatory commitments. To maximize the use of TRIPS leeway for technological development schemes, both deficiencies need to be managed by a balance-oriented initiative taken by the WTO judicial and/or legislative bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827−863
Number of pages37
JournalChinese Journal of International Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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