IP law reform in developing countries after the global financial crisis
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Marrakesh Declaration with the formation of the WTO and the conclusion of the TRIPS Agreement - a watershed for many IP systems in developing countries. Important in the years preceding and following TRIPS has further been s. 301, introduced as "Special 301 " into the US Tariff and Trade Act of 1988, which authorises the US Trade Representative to list and threaten with trade sanctions countries regarded as having inadequate intellectual property laws and violating US IP rights. Negotiations triggered by s. 301 classifications played a crucial role in setting many countries on a path of serious reform of their intellectual property laws. More often than not, IP was to a certain extent regarded as a residual set of laws left behind by colonial powers, and being of limited use or even harmful to developing economies. The strong reliance on the US market and on foreign investment of export-oriented developing economies was thus an important driving force behind the reforms.