international protection of intellectual property (see, e.g., Mody, 1990; Siebeck, 1990). However, during the 1980s, the U.S. government responded to the concerns of American producers—especially chemical, pharmaceutical, electronic, and information technology industries—by working vigorously to reverse the trend of the preceding two decades. Acting with some encouragement from other industrially advanced countries, the United States pursued a direct, unilateral course of action. It did not make any major effort to renegotiate agreements within the framework of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (patents and trademarks), the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (copyrights), or other international conventions, nor did it offer some quid pro quo to developing nations that would agree to sign such conventions. Instead, by threatening within the context of bilateral trade negotiations to impose sanctions on developing and newly industrialized nations whose retaliatory leverage was quite limited, the United States achieved considerable success in convincing foreign governments to acquiesce to its position on the treatment of various forms of intellectual property. The pressures generated by the U.S. campaign, however, and the widening international markets for R&D-intensive goods and services have stirred a profound reconsideration of the merits and drawbacks of global "harmonization" of protections for intellectual property and of the desirability of achieving such uniformity at a strong, rather than weak, standard of enforcement.
Unlike the debates over intellectual property institutions in earlier eras, which had captured the attention of such great political and social philosophers as Thomas Jefferson, the current discussions reflect relatively slight interest in philosophical questions. Little attention is being paid to such issues as the "natural rights" of inventors and authors to the fruits of their creative efforts or the justice of claims advanced on behalf of all humanity to benefit from the collective, social processes through which new scientific and technological ideas arise (for exceptions see, e.g., Dworkin, 1981; Davis, 1989; Berg, 1991). Rather, in keeping with the more pervasively utilitarian spirit of the times, the statutes, legal rulings, administrative regulations, and other institutional arrangements affecting patents, copyrights, and trade secrets are widely regarded as public policy instruments that should be designed to enhance economic welfare by stimulating technological progress.
Even if the rhetoric of argument occasionally appeals to notions of justice and equity, modern economic analysis, and its characteristic preoccupation with questions of efficiency, now set the terms for policy discussions about the protection of intellectual property. On the one hand, economic analysis provides the most widely accepted, overarching interpretation and supporting rationale for public interventions aimed at channeling economic resources into invention and innovation. On the other hand, in continuation of a long tradition, economic analysis yields fundamental criti-