November 2, 2011 by A. Samuel Oddi
A. Samuel Oddi is a professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Akron School of Law.
In prior articles, I have tried to point out that developing countries, and particularly the least developed countries (LDCs), are not the intended or even incidental beneficiaries of the intellectual property system–particularly its internationalization under TRIPS. I have primarily attempted to demonstrate the disadvantaged position of developing countries through cost-benefit and economic analysis. In this regard, developing countries are primarily consumers of inventions rather than inventors and as such are expected to pay the patented price of the invention with no offsetting reciprocity by the developed world. Moreover, the economic incentive to create inventions comes primarily from the developed world itself, where the money is, rather than from the impoverished developing world, as demonstrated by the dearth of inventions for treating diseases mostly inflicting the developing world. Having done this analysis, however, I had not taken into account the moral dimension created by the HIV/AIDS pandemic with its catastrophic impact on both the developed and developing world, but with even greater impact on the latter.