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Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology
tally international. In short, future sui generis rights (and many proposals for interpretation of existing conventions) should be negotiated on an international basis,79 and standing reform and study groups should be international.
It is crucial to take into account the role of small firms in innovation. Such firms may be prime sources of innovation in areas of new technology and there may be a serious risk that intellectual property rights can be used to stifle them. This means that such firms must be represented on study groups; it also means that intellectual property rights must be defined with consideration for their real-world impact on industrial structure.
Note that in the absence of international agreement, one can use statutory reciprocity in the pattern of the chip mask work arrangement. Even so, it would be best to coordinate such efforts with as many other nations as possible.
Note also that the politicization of the international intellectual property system may make internationalization difficult. Yet, this politicization is primarily along a North-South axis, whereas the key negotiations in these new technology areas will generally be among the developed nations or with developing nations who have an interest in being included in a special regime.