The Complexity of Using the Patent Standards under TRIPS for the Promotion of Domestic Industrial Development in Developing Countries in the Absence of Local Working Requirements: Rethinking the Role of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Intellectual Property Standard-Setting

Thaddeus Manu

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Abstract

This article confronts the most basic question, which is whether in its traditional legislative intent the principle of patent working requirements would as an instrument of government policy in the mist of global value chains definitely guarantee industrial growth for developing countries and LDCs. The author argues that globalisation has promoted an increasing fragmentation of production, that is, in a dynamic economic efficiency and open trade environment, much of manufacturing today is trade in components from different sources, and seeking to produce all of them locally would be contrary to division of labour and undermines the very existence of the WTO’s mandate to preserve the basic principles and to further the overriding objectives underlying the multilateral trading system, which is to reduce barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations. Therefore, a key distinction in thinking about policy is that as an instrument of government policy the patent working requirement is, on its own, insufficient, less prudence and not the smartest route to secure rapid socio-economic growth, as countries have more to lose from a confrontational scenario of implementing patent working requirements, and more to gain when they join the global supply chain to exploit its numerous opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-538
JournalJournal of World Trade
Volume51
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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