The Relationship between Intellectual Property and Innovation: Do Patent Rights Always Spur the Creation of New Products and Technologies?

Un texto escrito por la abogada Salvadoreña Monika Hasbún, actualmente funcionaria de la autoridad de competencia de su país, sobre un tema muy pertinente para las economías emergentes.

Developing World Antitrust

By Monika Hasbún*

It is generally acknowledged that patent rights, in an economic sense, work as an incentive to promote innovation. Nevertheless, it must also be acknowledged that this incentive can also generate inefficiencies. For this reason it is necessary to question and evaluate the scenarios in which patent rights do not necessarily promote innovation but can actually be detrimental to it.

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines a patent as “…an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem”. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application. Any product or procedure that receives this protection, cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold by others without the patent owner’s consent.

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