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To address some of the issues concerning IPRs, this paper defines what they are and attempts to evaluate the relationship between the protection of intellectual property and economic activity in developing countries. It also summarizes the economic effects of IPRs in terms of creation and diffusion of knowledge and information; and market structure and prices. Furthermore, it discusses the reformation of IPRs regimes and makes recommendations for their administration and enforcement.
This paper consolidates some of the research from the 'World Development Report 1998/1999: Knowledge for Development' and some contributions made at an Internet-moderated conference conducted by the Bank's TechNet program. It will be of interest to governments, investors, and international organizations.