International policies toward protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) have seen profound changes of the past two decades. Emerging trends and technologies-such as bio-informatics (mapping of the human genome), biotechnology (creation of designer plants), and the widespread availability of digital content and media via the Internet-have raised new questions about intellectual property law. How will developing countries fare in this globalized and challenging intellectual property environment?
In the mid-1990s, the World Trade Organization developed the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which sets out minimum standards of IPR protection. The World Bank has held keen interest in better understanding how well-designed intellectual property policies can help foster development and reduce poverty. This volume brings together studies conducted by World Bank or Bank-affiliated economic researchers who seek to better understand the economic underpinnings of the different degrees and forms of IPR protection.
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