Conference on the Interaction of Emerging Market
Patent Law with the International Patent System

Hosted by the Florida State University College of Law
Tallahassee, Florida, April 13-15, 2012

The world economy has changed dramatically during the past decade. Emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India are drivers of global economic growth, and individuals in these countries share a greater portion of global wealth. As the relative economic strength between countries and regions shifts, the capacity of policymakers in formerly dominant economic actors (including the United States, European Union and Japan) to control regulatory policy internationally - including patent policy -  is challenged. Yet while emerging market governments continue to address common social problems of development (such as public health challenges), business leaders in these emerging market countries are developing increasingly "shared interests" with business leaders in the USA, EU and Japan - such as interests in creating innovative products and selling them profitably in growing markets. This convergence of business interests places pressure on the international patent system as the volume of patent filings increases, and as enterprises increasingly rely on patents as strategic cross-border weapons of competition. What are the opportunities and risks in this changing environment? How will consumers be affected? Why is patent policy increasingly being made in bilateral and regional settings?

This meeting brings together a group of the world's leading experts in patent law and policy to reflect on the implications of this changing international patent environment from the social, economic and political perspectives.

This conference will address developments in emerging market patent law that may influence the International Patent System. Participants will:

  • Examine the extent to which patent laws, regulations and practices in Brazil, China, India, South Africa and other emerging market exonomies follow the model or differ from those in Europe, the United States and other 20th century economic leaders.
  • Consider whether patent offices, administrative authorities and courts worldwide are prepared to deal with a substantially higher volume of patent applications and patents.
  • Assess whether systemic problems with the international patent system adversely affect the rate or distribution of innovation.
  • Discuss homogeneous and heterogeneous patent policies and systems.
  • Analyze emerging powers, patents and preferential trade agreements.

Topics for discussion include...

  • How are developed countries influencing patent-related policies and practices in the emerging market economies?
  • What stresses are placed on patent offices, and how are offices addressing these stresses?
  • What industries, if any, are adversely affected by systemic problems with the international patent system?
  • Does experience point to a "single model" best patent system or to a variety of models adapted to national development strategies?
  • What kind of IP provisions does Brazil, China or India seek when negotiating a trade agreement with an actor with less economic power?

Overview | Participants | Agenda | Background Documents