Global Patent Protection: Channels of North & South Welfare Gain


May 2004, Revised October 2004


Grinols, Earl L., 1951-
Lin, Hwan C.

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Much of the dynamic literature on intellectual property protection (IPP) arrays goods along a segment of the real line, one endpoint of which expands with innovation. A single margin of innovation brings computational clarity, but implies that the innovating region cannot reassign its research and development efforts among multiple sectors. This leads to special results. This paper expands innovation to two dimensions and re-examines the question of North and South intellectual property protection. The model includes many of the features of earlier models but predicts avenues of cooperation and mutual interest that were previously unavailable. For example, the South may benefit from equal or even higher standards of IPP protection than in the North, and it is possible that the North gains from differentially weaker IPP enforcement in the South. The source of the different conclusions is traced to different channels of welfare influence that support the findings. Monopoly power is less important in explaining them than resource shifting between innovation sectors. Key features not previously found include the ability of lower Southern IPP to spur innovation of Northern goods and to make available greater resources for Northern production of current consumption.



Intellectual Property, Innovation, Channels of Welfare, North, South, JEL Classification: F13