The Concept of Trade-Relatedness of Intellectual Property Rights in Times of Post-TRIPS Bilateralism

Part of the MPI Studies on Intellectual Property and Competition Law book series (MSIP, volume 25)

Abstract

In 1994, by concluding the TRIPS Agreement as part of the new WTO system, states recognized the “trade-relatedness” of IPRs. Yet scholars have so far given very little attention to this concept. This chapter identifies three aspects of this idea, namely (1) as a legal concept, (2) as an economic justification for more advanced international IP standards, and (3) as a political strategy. During the last decade, this concept also migrated to many bilateral trade agreements in which “TRIPS-plus” standards were included. This development not only confirmed and strengthened the trade-relatedness of IPRs, it also requires a reassessment of the concept in order to judge the appropriateness of IP bilateralism. Indeed, the main research question of this chapter relates to the soundness of combining IP rules with trade rules. Whether this combination makes economic sense can be critically reviewed in the light of several considerations of economic theory. This economic analysis shows how the international IP system, starting with TRIPS and continuing with bilateral trade agreements, had to develop towards an inefficient expansion of IP protection. From the perspective of 2014, the conclusion is that the strategy to use trade concessions as a bargaining chip for higher IP standards for the purpose of promoting the competitiveness of technologically more advanced countries has not produced the expected results. The chapter strongly argues for reconsidering the current trade policy of technologically more advanced countries to push through ever-higher levels of protection in various forms of trade agreements.

Keywords

Europe Coherence Lost Oman Peru 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Innovation and CompetitionMunichGermany

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