. "1 The Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology." Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1993.
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Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology
indigenous innovators, the governments of these countries will face more pressures to enact and enforce strong protection. Again, the overarching issue is one of balance.
Advances in computer software, semiconductor chips, and biotechnology have set off major debates over how to protect the innovator's rights in those new technologies. It is not yet possible to determine the adequacy of the solutions reached. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and biochips, raise even more difficult intellectual property issues for the future. The rapidity of technological change in these fields means that actions taken now to deal with IPR problems, whether on the national or the international level, will have to be reevaluated continually and in all likelihood revised in the years to come.
One of the major questions posed as new technologies emerge is whether existing rights can provide adequate protection or whether a new form of rights is needed. Countries typically have dealt with this issue at the national level, and the resulting divergent national approaches to protection have made international agreement more difficult to achieve. This raises, in turn, a related question about the kinds of institutional structures and processes that can facilitate the development of international norms for protecting new technologies and the continuing review that will be necessary.
Intellectual Property Rights as a Trade Issue
The U.S. government has taken a multifaceted, trade-oriented approach to the international IPR issue, an approach that consists of multilateral and bilateral negotiations, as well as unilateral trade measures. General policy questions concern the effectiveness and long-term implications of this overall approach and its various components. For example, what kinds of tradeoffs between IPRs and other trade policy objectives will result? How can the United States develop a consistent policy for worldwide protection of intellectual property when actions are being taken in many different forums?
An international code on patents, trademarks, and copyrights currently is being negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round of GATT. The GATT is viewed by some as having several advantages for achieving worldwide IPR protection. It represents a significant shift in approach, away from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the U.N. agency that administers most major international IPR conventions, where strong intellectual property protection has been effectively opposed by the developing countries.
As the premier world trade forum, GATT places intellectual property issues in a trade context and links them to other trade and investment issues, thereby potentially bringing enormous bargaining power to bear. On