Keith E. Maskus, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is professor of economics and associate dean for social sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also a fellow at the Kiel Institute for World Economics and an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide. He was a lead economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank, visiting professor at the University of Bocconi, and a visiting scholar at the CES-Ifo Institute at the University of Munich and the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University. He serves as a consultant to the World Bank and the World Intellectual Property Organization and is currently chairing a panel of the National Academy of Sciences on intellectual property management in standards-setting organizations. He is the author of Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy (2000).
Private Rights and Public Problems: The Global Economics of Intellectual Property in the 21st Centuryby Keith Maskus
Intellectual property rights (IPRs)-patents, copyrights, and trademarks-have moved from an arcane area of legal analysis and a policy backwater to the forefront of global economic policymaking. Apple and Samsung's recent patent battle illustrates the importance of IPRs and how they impact everyone. Private Rights and Public Problems is a completed update of the seminal, oft-cited 2000 study, Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy. This new book documents the remarkable global changes in IPRs policies that have taken place since the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and analyzes both the benefits and costs of the global IPRs system. Does stronger IPRs protection increase incentives for innovation and raise returns to international technology transfer or does it raise the cost of acquiring new technology and products? Have the changes benefited technology producers or technology consumers? Do these policies help or hinder the transfer of key technologies used to address critical global public needs, such as essential medicines, green technologies, bio-engineered seed varieties, products made from genetic resources, and scientific and educational materials? The book examines these issues through an analysis of the economic effects of extended international protection and partial harmonization of IPRs. Ultimately, it argues that the global IPRs system stands at a fundamental crossroad, facing more challenges than ever before. It makes several suggestions for improving the efficiency and fairness of the newly globalized system in the near future, if the political will can be found.
- Peterson Institute for International Economics
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