IP rights are often presented as a contentious issue in the development discourse. Some view strong IP rights as an obstacle to domestic development by creating barriers to the use of intangible resources on favourable terms. Others view IP rights as a means to foster growth in domestic industries, encourage innovation and protect foreign firms in high-infringement jurisdictions. These differing global perspectives on whether and, if so, how, IP rights promote development in domestic and global economies often result in policies that are either conducive to development or are challenging as development aids. The SDGs make no explicit reference to IP. However, IP is implicit in either the achievement of the SDGs as a whole, or as an aspect of specific goals, such as innovation. This policy brief deals with the relevance of the SDGs to the creation, use, protection and management of IP in developed economies.
In this series by emerging scholars, policy briefs address opportunities for international and domestic law, economics and policy to contribute toward achieving sustainable development across sectors. The policy briefs are therefore tailored to global economies and policy-oriented solutions in one or more of the ILRP’s core research areas of international intellectual property law, international environmental law, international economic law and international Indigenous law. The idea is to address aspects of CIGI’s research areas through the lens of international law, economics and policy, governance and sustainable development in a public policy format.