حقوق مالکیت معنوی در مکزیک: آیا آنها نقشی ایفا می کنند؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16775||2005||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 33, Issue 11, November 2005, Pages 1865–1879
There is little empirical evidence concerning the effects of intellectual property rights (IPR) in technologically advanced developing countries. Complete enumeration of the Mexican maize breeding industry showed that, contrary to the hypothesis that IPR would support innovation, IPR play no role in the industry. IPR theory should be revised to include characteristics of developing countries critical for the good functioning of IPR: quality of the institutional environment and importance of transaction. Given the relatively good score of Mexico on these critical aspects, IPR are likely to play an even smaller role in other developing countries.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) are generally considered an efficient institution to stimulate innovation. Strong IPR should provide incentives for innovation and expand investment and technology flows to developing countries (Maskus, 2000). Although granting monopoly rights for an invention would impede its dissemination, underprovision of protected goods and monopoly distortions are usually considered acceptable costs in order to promote the creation of new knowledge and the increase in societal welfare that it brings (Gaisford, Hobbs, Kerr, Perdikis, & Plunkett, 2001). Growing numbers question this position and maintain that IPR do not play an important role in stimulating innovation in developing countries (CIPR, 2002) and that the strengthening of IPR benefits industrialized countries while hurting developing countries (Panagariya, 1999). There is considerable uncertainty on the effects of strong IPR in developing countries (Tansey, 2004). This paper examines the impacts of IPR on a technologically advanced developing country, Mexico, to determine their role for the different stakeholders of the maize breeding industry. Little empirical evidence exists on this subject, and the conclusions are often uncertain. Mexico was one of the first developing countries to effectively strengthen its intellectual property (IP) legislation.1 Its maize breeding industry is well developed, and maize is subject to different types of IP protection: IPR are likely to play a role in this industry. As IPR are meant to support research and development (R&D), firms and public institutes involved in breeding should be the first to perceive their impacts. Interviews with maize breeders were carried out to gather information concerning the impacts of stronger IPR, complemented with interviews with representatives of relevant IP regulatory agencies. Complete enumeration of the industry2 showed that IPR are not important for breeders in general, but that they are important for certain breeders’ categories. Even though they exist on a formal level, IPR are in most cases ignored by breeders in their day-to-day activities. Therefore, IPR do not provide incentives for R&D and do not affect the concentration of the industry nor seed prices, while the lack of data does not allow determining the effects on the diffusion of germplasm, new varieties, and inventions. The analysis indicates that the quality of the institutional environment and the confidence in the judiciary system, the importance of transaction costs related to obtaining and securing protection, as well as the level of technological development of the country are important factors affecting IPR’s use and perceived efficiency. These factors should be considered when predicting the impacts of IPR on developing countries. The paper is divided into seven sections. Section 2 reviews IPR and their expected impacts. Section 3 provides background information on the Mexican maize breeding industry. Section 4 presents the methodology used and Section 5, the data gathered through the interviews. Section 6 discusses the findings and derives implications for the relevance of IPR implementation in developing countries, and Section 7 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The results of this study do not support the general expectation that IPR would play a role for innovation in a technologically advanced developing country. The evidence gathered and the perceptions of the breeders do not support the hypotheses under study, except for the last one: different breeders do perceive IPR’s role differently. Table 5 summarizes the results of the study. Table 5. Summary of the results Hypothesis Evidence Breeders’ perceptions Quantitative information 1. IPR provide incentives for private R&D and innovation IPR do not provide incentives for maize breeding Main user is a public institution IPR do not support higher investments in R&D Evidence from number of breeding programs, number of breeders, and R&D budgets not supportive Other changes (e.g. policy, availability of educated breeders) might have had greater impact 2. IPR restrict access to germplasm, new varieties, and inventions No effect No evidence PBR reduce transaction costs and favor access to maize materials Patents reduce access to germplasm and technologies 3. IPR foster the concentration of the industry and an increase in seed prices IPR favor MNCs and private sector, and foster the concentration of the industry, and Number of companies involved in maize breeding increased Prices remained constant in real terms IPR support increases in seed prices 4. IPR play different roles for diverse breeders’ groups IPR favor MNCs Only MNCs possess patents Public breeders: IPR on plant unethical MNCs second and third most important PBR owners MNCs believe IPR are necessary for the development of the industry MNCs favor UPOV 1991, local breeders favor UPOV 1978 Table options Hypothesis 1 is not supported by the evidence gathered: Breeders did not perceive stronger IPR as providing them with incentives for maize breeding, nor did they invest more in these activities due to their presence. The respondents were very critical of the procedures and enforcement related to IPR: This lack of confidence helps to explain the low level of IPR use and the negative perceptions prevailing in the industry. Transaction costs in general, and more specifically information, certification, and enforcement costs play an important role. Local breeders identified different impacts for PBR and patents: PBR reduce information costs in transactions between breeders while patents reduce access to germplasm and technologies. The unavailability of data and the little experience that breeders have with transactions involving material and technology transfer did not allow identifying impacts and therefore supporting or rejecting Hypothesis 2. The evidence gathered contradicts Hypothesis 3 that IPR foster the concentration of the industry and support an increase in seed prices. The number of companies increased during the period under study, and even though the concentration increased, it was the result of mergers and takeovers at the international level, and was not related to the domestic strengthening of IPR. The prices of public seeds stayed constant over time, contrary to breeders’ perception, which can be explained by the inflation/devaluation of the peso in the 1990s. In general, several changes, domestic and international, might have influenced these perceptions and make identifying the impact of IPR difficult. Finally, the only hypothesis supported by the results is that IPR play different roles for diverse breeders’ groups. This is illustrated by the patterns of use: only MNCs possess patents in the country, and along with INIFAP, MNCs are the only users of PBR for maize varieties. They also perceive their impacts differently and opinions diverge on issues such as the relevance of plant patents and PBR protection levels. The level of awareness of the breeders’ groups, their resource endowment, and also their interests and the products they develop are important explanatory factors. MNC breeders know in general a lot more about IPR, and their impacts and are more familiar with their use. These companies possess more human and financial resources and develop high-quality, modern products for bigger markets. IPR are relevant for companies and breeders possessing inventions worth protecting. They have an interest to protect this knowledge and reap all the benefits associated with it, while other breeders would prefer keeping the materials and technologies unprotected, and benefit from the knowledge spillovers. From the results and discussion above, qualifications to IPR theory and policy can be formulated for the case of developing countries. The all-positive assumptions at the basis of the TRIPs Agreement (e.g., Article 7) should be put in perspective, and characteristics of the countries should be taken into account in evaluating the role that stronger IPR could play for their economy. The quality of the institutional environment, that is, the institutions regulating and enforcing IPR, is an important aspect to be taken into account. The presence of efficient and reliable institutions is key to the proper functioning of IPR, and it is often a weakness in developing countries. In the same perspective, the importance of costs and transaction costs involved in obtaining protection and enforcement of the rights has to be bearable for the local inventors, in order for the inventor to obtain added value from IP protection. Finally, the level of technological development prevailing in the country also has to be taken into account. When local inventors do not develop inventions qualifying for protection, the relevance of IP protection can be questioned. Even though the countries benefit from protected products developed by MNCs and brought into the country, this represents only one aspect of the potential benefits the countries could derive from IPR. It is important to mention certain caveats. The study took place shortly after the implementation of IPR strengthening, in a context of several simultaneous policy reforms, and maize, for which most commercial varieties are hybrid, is a special case. For other species, such as ornamental flowers, where hybrids are not common, different results could be obtained. It would hence be premature to generalize these results to other countries or other crops. However, transaction costs and the level of technological development of the industry appear to be important aspects that are neglected in IPR theory. Given the relatively good score of Mexico on these aspects, the question of the role of IPR for developing countries remains open. More empirical work on IPR strengthening in developing countries will be necessary to clearly establish the impacts—or lack thereof—of IPR on developing countries.