21 March 2006

Asia Times Online :: Asian news and current affairs

Intellectual property rights: Bad TRIPS: "The four key elements in the issue of fair value in global trade are IP, technology, information and pricing. In classical exchange theory, price is determined by cost and demand, which under free trade conditions will reach equilibrium to provide the optimum price and the largest sales. But free trade is a myth, and the US is the leading opponent of it in practice while being the leading proponent of it in rhetoric.

The rationale for IP protection is that it is needed to subsidize the coming stream of new technology. But as the Microsoft antitrust case demonstrates, IP inhibits new technology more than is generally recognized. The same is evident in medical drugs. The only arena where this inhibition does not exist is in military technology, where the technological imperative still governs at the expense of price sensitivity."

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