lecture 21 - Intellectual Property (IP) and Globalization...

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Intellectual Property (IP) and Globalization IP and GATT Your reading makes it seem as though IP was a natural extension of GATT from goods only, to goods and trade, to goods and trade and this thing called IP, which is just another piece of the modern world. It was a perfectly natural thing. Well, it wasn't. It was a sneaky thing, as we'll see. The way that IP got in -- TRIPS o Like Calvin and Hobbes GROSS -- not a perfect acronym. o I've seen students try to fit other words in to TRIPS, not realizing that it doesn't really make any sense. The real acronym is Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Background on IP Fundamentally different from EVERYTHING else we've covered in this course, for a number of reasons. o Non-rival good -- we can all listen to the same Beatles. We can't all eat the same apples. o Monopolistic -- in every other area of trade, we want competition! It helps consumers. In IP, we grant monopolies -- rights of exclusion. Why? To incentivize creation. If creators don't have the right to exclude others from their trade, then they make no money, because everyone can have their stuff for only the cost of reproducing it, which, as we've discussed, is negligible-to-zero. Copy a CD, doesn't take much. With that in mind, let's start with a very brief overview of what kinds of IP we have: Generally, just four. There are more (rights to publicity, etc) that we won't get into here. They're not important for our purposes, but know that they exist. Types of IP Copyright -- basically, anything "creative" that gets recorded somehow. A story, a song, a video Patent -- any device, method, or process (can be any of these, not just tangible things), that is novel (not done before) and nonobvious (another legal term, complicated, but basically has to require some thought to develop) Trademark -- won't really go into this, but you probably have some idea of what a trademark is Trade secret -- this one is really interesting, and seems like an outlier. Basically it just means you can keep secret stuff secret. How is THAT helpful? Is this just a silly branch of law? NO! It means that if someone promises (through employment K, say) to keep your secret, and they don't, you have a right to sue them.
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o Why do we have this protection? Does the law just want people suing one another as much as possible? NO. We have the threat of litigation so that people DO keep the secrets. o What kinds of things get turned into trade secrets? Mostly formulas, methods, perhaps internal manufacturing techniques or processes. Used as a powerful tool to protect one's secrets. Case in point -- Coca Cola. Its secret formulas have been at the heart of a number of controversies, but it has never been publicly revealed. Why Have IP?
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This note was uploaded on 07/08/2008 for the course GEOG 20 taught by Professor Acker during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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lecture 21 - Intellectual Property (IP) and Globalization...

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