English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to improve the present patent system Ignazio Musu

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to Improve the Present Patent System
Author
  • Ignazio Musu
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • The paper discusses two types of problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to agro-biotechnological innovations in the relation between developed and developing countries. First, protecting property rights on innovations creates incentives towards further research and innovation, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assigning of the right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of the innovation, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the power of exclusion of the holder of an intellectual property right limits access to the newly produced knowledge: this may discourage the process of producing new knowledge, harming developing countries. Moreover the property right holder may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation, which is also harmful to developing countries. It is shown that these problems cannot be solved by denying protection to property rights on innovations, but by improving procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with appropriate liability rules and antitrust measures.
  • RePEc:ven:wpaper:2006_01
  • This paper discusses the problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to biotechnological innovation, with particular reference to agro-biotechnologies and the relations between developed and developing countries. There are two types of problems to consider. First, the aim of protecting property rights on innovations is to create incentives towards research and innovation in general, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assignment of an intellectual property right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of new knowledge, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the holder of an intellectual property right has a power of exclusion which limits access by others to the newly produced knowledge. However, the production of new knowledge is very often a process which starts from a base of existing knowledge. Hence, discouraging access to existing knowledge also means discouraging the process of producing new knowledge. Paradoxically then, in protecting intellectual property we obtain the opposite result to the one expected and desired. Moreover, the holder of an intellectual property right may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation. This paper will try to show that these problems cannot be solved, as sometimes is suggested, by denying protection of property rights on innovations, but by improving the procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with other measures such as liability rules governing potential damage and also antitrust measures.
  • Intellectual property rights, Biotechnology, Patent system
  • RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.83
Language
  • English
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