Appropriate Levels of IP Protection and Enforcement in Least-Developed Countries

At the time of the negotiation of TRIPS, most industrialised countries had long-established comprehensive domestic legislation in the field of international property rights (IPRs). They had also negotiated, signed and ratified several World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Conventions and Treaties. This is, however, not the case for least developed countries (LDCs), which strongly rely on traditional agricultural activities and have significantly fewer productive and technological capabilities. The objective of this research project is to propose a gradual and more development-oriented concept for IP reforms in LDCs.

This project will conduct a comprehensive survey among key stakeholders in the ongoing debate on how a more gradual and development-oriented concept of IP reform could realistically be established. Furthermore it examines how IP reforms in LDCs could be appropriately sequenced so that they pave the way for a more stable, more innovative and more productive economy. It will develop the parameters for a gradual concept of TRIPS implementation for LDCs and make recommendations as to how such an approach could be integrated in the current WTO/TRIPS setting, both for standards and for enforcement. Finally, the research results should allow industrialised countries to better target their intellectual property technical assistance to LDCs.


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