nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2013‒01‒26
three papers chosen by
Giovanni Ramello
Universita' Amedeo Avogadro

  1. The TRIPS Agreement as a Coercive Threat: Estimating the Effects of Trade Ties on IPR Enforcement By Cardwell, Ryan T.; Ghazalian, Pascal L.
  2. Software piracy, inequality and the poor: evidence from Africa By Simplice A, Asongu
  3. Innovation strategies of German firms: The effect of competition and intellectual property protection By Slivko, Olga

  1. By: Cardwell, Ryan T.; Ghazalian, Pascal L.
    Abstract: Negotiators from developed countries pushed hard for the inclusion of the TRIPS Agreement in the WTO set of agreements because it was viewed as a potentially effective method of coercing developing countries to strengthen their protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). We investigate whether the threat of cross-agreement retaliation, which could be authorized in disputes regarding the TRIPS Agreement, is effective in changing countries’ IPR protection regimes. The results from a panel empirical model suggest that both the TRIPS Agreement and the strength of trade ties with developed countries are important determinants of IPR protection, but that the vulnerability to potential trade losses through cross-agreement retaliation is not a uniformly significant determinant across geo-economic regions. We conclude that the threat of trade retaliation is just one important determinant of countries’ institutional protection of IPR.
    Keywords: TRIPS Agreement, intellectual property, WTO, panel estimation, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Simplice A, Asongu
    Abstract: Purpose – Poverty and inequality undoubtedly remain substantial challenges to economic and human developments amid growing emphasis on IPRs (with recent advances in ICTs) and good governance. In the first empirical study on the incidence of piracy on inequality in Africa, we examine how a plethora of factors (IPRs laws, education & ICTs and government quality) are instrumental in the piracy-inequality nexus. Design/methodology/approach – Two-Stage-Least Squares estimation approaches are applied in which piracy is instrumented with IPRs regimes (treaties), education & ICTs and government quality dynamics. Findings – The main finding suggests that, software piracy is good for the poor as it has a positive income-redistributive effect; consistent with economic and cultural considerations from recent literature. ICTs & education (dissemination of knowledge) are instrumental in this positive redistributive effect, while good governance mitigates inequality beyond the piracy channel. Practical implications – As a policy implication, in the adoption IPRs, sampled countries should take account of the role less stringent IPRs regimes play on income-redistribution through software piracy. Collateral benefits include among others, the cheap dissemination of knowledge through ICTs which African countries badly need in their quest to become ‘knowledge economies’. A caveat however is that, too much piracy may decrease incentives to innovate. Hence, the need to adopt tighter IPRs regimes in tandem with increasing income-equality. Originality/value – It is the first empirical assessment of the incidence of piracy on inequality in Africa: a continent with stubbornly high poverty and inequality rates.
    Keywords: Inequality; Piracy; Intellectual property rights; Africa
    JEL: F42 O55 O34 O15 K42
    Date: 2012–09–12
  3. By: Slivko, Olga
    Abstract: This article analyzes how the perceived effectiveness of intellectual property protection and competitive pressure affect firms' innovation strategy choices, concretely, whether to abstain from innovation, to introduce products that are known in the market but new to the firm (imitation) or to introduce market novelties (innovation). Using a sample of 1253 German firms from manufacturing and services sectors I show that the perceived effectiveness of patent protection positively affects firms' propensity to imitate and to innovate. Having a small or a medium number of competitors positively affects firms' propensity to imitate and to innovate as compared to being a monopolist or having a large number of competitors. However, this effect varies with the perceived patent protection effectiveness. If the perceived patent protection effectiveness is low or medium, both innovation and imitation are enhanced, whereas if it is high, only innovation is enhanced. --
    Keywords: Innovation,imitation,competitive pressure,intellectual property protection
    JEL: C35 L13 O31 O34
    Date: 2012

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