Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Ruth L. Gana

First Page



This Article focuses on the future impact of the TRIPs Agreement on developing countries with regard to patent and copyright protection. While some scholars have suggested that the intellectual property protection provided by the TRIPs Agreement significantly benefits developing countries just as well as such protection has benefited developed countries in terms of increased economic growth and development, the author of this Article disagrees. Upon close analysis of the TRIPs Agreement's impact on developing countries, including the use of illustrative examples and a case study of the People's Republic of China with regard to copyright protection, this author concludes that developing countries will not enjoy such economic development unless they implement the legal, economic, and political structures associated with free market systems. According to the author, transformation in the legal, economic, and political structures of developing countries is vital in order to encourage economic growth. However, such changes must be relevant to the social and cultural framework of developing countries. The patent and copyright protection provided by the TRIPs Agreement will not, by itself, transform developing countries into the thriving technology producers that they aspire to become.