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Intellectual property for development in Mexico

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Intellectual property (IP) regimes serve dual purposes: to provide incentives for the generation and commercialization of innovations and to foster dissemination and use of knowledge. An IP regime alone cannot maximize these two objectives simultaneously. After all, IP establishes incentives to innovate precisely by restricting use, so absent other regulations (competition policy, price controls) a country that establishes IP regulations that are most geared toward encouraging innovation potentially does so at the expense of dissemination and use of knowledge. Countries have typically sought to tailor their IP regimes, setting incentives to achieve different objectives, in line with local capacities and to satisfy local needs. While NAFTA’s IP provisions have introduced some restrictions that go beyond the World Trade Organization’s TRIPs agreement, the main problem for Mexico is not NAFTA but the Mexican government’s adoption of IP rules that go beyond the agreement. These have the effect of making it more difficult for innovation to be disseminated and widely used within the country.

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