. "3 Why a Uniform Intellectual Property System Makes Sense or the World." 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
regimes in defining the proposed uniform system. Harmonization of laws, procedures, and rules in every country is not called for, although that could follow and is indeed already an objective being sought by some countries. The uniform system is not a system with a single court of appeals, or a single international intellectual property court, although that might someday prove useful. Nor does it call for a single patent or copyright office or a single worldwide patent or copyright, however cost-efficient that might be.
The second defining characteristic of the proposed uniform system is that of congruence. Robust similarities of outcome from one country to another, rather than identical statutory provisions, would be its hallmark.
When such congruence is achieved worldwide, those who make investment decisions, conduct research, or invent and move technology from place to place will be able to go about their business without having to think about differences between the intellectual property systems of various countries. Those differences that remain will be a proper subject only for specialist lawyers. Where congruence does not exist, people other than lawyers are troubled by system differences when making investment, research, and licensing decisions.
The third defining characteristic of the proposed uniform system is that of stimulation. People involved in the process of invention, technical advancement, and creative expression will be stimulated by confidence that the results of their efforts can be safeguarded from misappropriation and unauthorized copying, no matter which country becomes the location of their activity.
The knowledge that others can be prevented from unauthorized copying has been widely experienced as a powerful stimulus to invest time, resources, and effort in inventive activity. What constitutes reasonable protection can, in part, be gauged by the degree to which this stimulation is active in the technology-producing infrastructure of a country.
The proposed uniform system, then, is a robustly congruent, highly stimulative global system that embodies basic underlying concepts of protection.
A quasi-numerical approach to defining this uniform system may clarify the concept. In comparing the intellectual property systems of various countries, it has been found useful to rate them on a scale of 1 to 100. In doing this, the entire system is taken into consideration: substantive rules, administrative practice, and judicial enforcement. As examples, Germany can be rated at slightly more than 90, the United States and some of the European countries in the high 80s, and Mexico after its recent reforms at about 75, whereas Argentina and Brazil currently rank in the 30s and 40s.
Only as a system rises above a 70 will it produce positive results for that country. Those results can be measured in terms of three critical things that begin to happen: private venture capital firms become willing to invest