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Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology
tation of those rights. The United States, for example, stands alone in the industrialized world with its practice of granting patents to the ''first to invent," rather than the "first to file." Japan, whose level of IPR protection is comparable to that of the United States, uses a narrow interpretation of patent claims, which encourages inventors to cross-license. The Japanese system may be better suited to protecting incremental innovation rather than major, sweeping inventions. Detractors claim that the Japanese system favors Japanese inventors, whose industrial power has been based on seizing the commercial value of an invention by refining and building on breakthroughs that already exist.
James Armstrong, who discusses the IPR system of Japan in Chapter 6, concludes that it does not present an insurmountable barrier to eventual harmonization with U.S. practices. He points out that the law in both nations is dynamic and flexible, and he argues that, however different the two systems, the overriding determinant of eventual harmonization will be the fact that both view strong IPRs as essential to a modern industrial economy. Both Japan and the United States will have to adjust as technology and the world economy change.
In his discussion of the European Community in Chapter 6, Bryan Harris points out that even when harmonization is a collectively established objective, it may be constrained by other factors. The EC's explicit objective of achieving harmonization has been thwarted by politics, industrial opposition, the question of whether harmonization will truly maximize the collective economic interests of the EC, and the sovereignty concerns of the EC's member countries. Suggesting that the EC represents a small scale version of the eventual global debate on harmonization, Harris submits that harmonization for its own sake cannot be justified without a greater understanding of basic issues, such as the relationship between the economic interests of intellectual property owners and of intellectual property users and the question of whether IPRs continue to be a consistent and appropriate legal and economic concept in the face of technological change and the development of international industrial relationships.
Describing India's IPR system in Chapter 6, Deepak Nayyar notes that like all countries, India strives to strike a balance between the interests of producers of scientific and technological knowledge and those who use it. That particular balance point is determined, in India's view, by a nation's level of economic development. Acknowledging the importance of technology for development, Nayyar argues that India faces a resource availability problem that can be solved only within a framework of IPR policies that favor the dissemination of technology. Nayyar claims that the "Dunkel draft," a proposition put forward in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) discussions on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), ignores the essential philoso-