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Mercurio, Bryan

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  • Paper Title: Re-conceptualising the Debate on Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development
  • Department Affiliation: Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • Supervisor's Names:
    • Professor: Peter Gillies Associate
    • Associate Professor: Hope Ashiabor


Evaluation of the approach to intellectual property rights numerous developing countries have taken in recent years. Attempt to raise awareness of the ‘flexibilities’ existing in the TRIPS Agreement which, if utilized, could go some way to maintaining the balance between intellectual property owners and users. 


One of the first papers to question the recent approach to intellectual property rights by developing countries, to call for a more nuanced approach to the governing domestic legal framework and to suggest potential ‘flexibilities’ to be exploited.

Key literature/theoretical perspective:

Primary documents and secondary materials / trade and development focus, attempting to balance owner and user rights.


Literature review and qualitative interviews


Significant ‘flexibilities’ exist in the TRIPS Agreement, but few developing countries are taking advantage of them in their domestic laws.

Research limitations/implications:

Inherent limitation is the funding required by developing countries to take advantage of the ‘flexibilities’. Further study of this issue is warranted.

Practical and social implications: 

Raise awareness of the existing ‘flexibilities’ and potentially spark public policy debate.


Intellectual property, international trade, TRIPS Agreement, economic development.