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Yet is it realistic for the United States to hope that enforcing IPRs through trade law will solve the problems inherent in the older system? Is it really the case, as with education and perhaps some trade concessions, that developing countries will join the "club" in support of unified, global IPRs, or are there factors that constitute such real differences in economic interests between developing and developed countries as to threaten this goal?

As one considers these issues for developing countries, it is important to remember that IPRs are not designed merely to facilitate the transfer or export of technology from one country to another. They are designed to stimulate R&D and inventive activity in all countries. It is relevant to ask whether they actually do this in developing countries. They also are designed to stimulate the removal of secrecy from ideas so that those ideas can facilitate and stimulate other inventions. Finally, IPRs are limited rights. The seller (exporter) of IPRs should not expect full capture of all the economic returns associated with an IPR. Claims of losses by exporters of IPR-protected items to developing countries should be assessed accordingly.

As a basis for discussing these issues further, summary data comparing relevant economic variables across groups of countries are presented in Table 16-1. Data are reported for six types of developing economies. It should be obvious that developing countries encompass many types of economies. The six categories in the table are based on work by Weiss (1990). These categories of technology capacity are not intended to be "stages," although they do reflect different levels of institutional development. They are basically differentiated by this capacity to develop and implement technology.

These classes offer a broader and better sense than is usually provided of the range of economies encompassed within the term developing economies. Developing countries range from traditional economies (la) through economies that are regarded as nearing newly industrialized status (2b), and those newly industrialized countries (NICs) that are regarded as being on the threshold of global technological competitiveness (2c).

It is important to note that all of the Stage 1 countries (roughly 60 to 70 countries) for the most part do not operate intellectual property systems of any real substance. Most, however, have some form of intellectual property system. Bangladesh, for example, has a patent law and a patent office, and it administers a patent system. It has only recently added a second domestic examiner, however, which is an index of its limited capacity to stimulate or examine technology agreements. Most of the countries in Stage 1 do not have adequate staffing or court systems to administer IPR laws according to the standard expected by the United States and GATT negotiators.

The situation changes for the Stage 2 countries. Table 16-2 provides several indicators to illustrate this. The indicators are organized by using

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