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A Neofederalist Vision of TRIPSThe Resilience of the International Intellectual Property Regime$
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Graeme B. Dinwoodie and Rochelle C. Dreyfuss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304619

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304619.001.0001

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The History and Character of TRIPS

The History and Character of TRIPS

How It Shapes the Contemporary Debate

(p.21) 2 The History and Character of TRIPS
A Neofederalist Vision of TRIPS

Graeme B. Dinwoodie

Rochelle C. Dreyfuss

Oxford University Press

This Chapter situates the TRIPS Agreement in the historical context of the international intellectual property system, most notably the development of the Paris and Berne Conventions. It demonstrates the centrality of national autonomy (and the commitment to territoriality) throughout the history of international negotiations over intellectual property. It assesses the negotiation of TRIPS and the final instrument itself through the frame of international and intellectual property policy, with the benefit of hindsight, and from the perspective of more than a decade of experience with the Agreement. The principal accounts of how TRIPS came into being (the exchange narrative and the coercion narrative) both paradoxically may bolster the premise that developing countries signed up to something approaching a supranational code. A more nuanced examination tells a different story, one that suggests that, although TRIPS gave teeth to international obligations by embedding them within a system with enforcement mechanisms, it must be viewed as a compromise that recognizes each state’s continuing role in formulating intellectual property policy within the context of an international arrangement. The Chapter illustrates the significance of the different visions of TRIPS by analysing whether the Agreement precludes WTO member states from adopting working requirements in their patent laws.

Keywords:   Berne convention, Paris convention, territoriality, regime shifting, coercion narrative, exchange narrative, compromise narrative, developing countries, enforcement mechanisms, working requirement

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