The relationship between IP, trade and development dates back to the post-war era when many previously colonized states became independent. In the past twenty years, however, this relationship has become the source of increasing concern for many reasons. The course will introduce students to the cause(s) of these concerns, the question whether enhanced IP protection contributes to innovation and development of individual economies, and lastly, the different actors entangled in this debate and the deep divide that ensues.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:


- Assess whether intellectual property (IP) rights promote innovation and development or may actually have the exact opposite effect

- Assess the role of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) and subsequent TRIPS-plus agreements in fomenting the relationship between IP rights, trade and development

- Analyze whether increased uniformity of global IP norms may facilitate trade and exports and whether each country will be able to fully maximize its own creative and innovative potential and develop indus­tries on that basis

- Critically reflect on questions about the economic impact of IP rights and the economic value added by increasing the level of protection of the IP rights and whether this aligns with social returns in various countries

- Identify the tools for a developmentally oriented IP regime