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Dynamics of IP Protection Regimes in the Arab Gulf States

Price, David (2006). Dynamics of IP Protection Regimes in the Arab Gulf States. In: Hoque, M 3rd International Business Research Conference, Melbourne, 20-22 November 2006.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Price, David
Title Dynamics of IP Protection Regimes in the Arab Gulf States
Conference Name 3rd International Business Research Conference
Conference Location Melbourne
Conference Dates 20-22 November 2006
Conference Publication Title Proceedings, 3rd International Business Research Conference
Editor Hoque, M
Place of Publication Melbourne
Publisher World Business Institute
Publication Year 2006
ISBN 0 646 46759 X   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract This article discusses the performance of the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council member states in protecting intellectual property (IP) rights, in the context of their accession to World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership, and compliance with the requiremants of the WYO's Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and its associated international conventions. In the span of a single generation, the legal systems of the GCC states have undergone dramatic change and development - and that change is continuing. The change has been characterized by a major trend towards codification of laws, an increasing substitution of institutionalised procedures for the former discretionary exercise of personal authority largely based on local application of Shariah law. Nevertheless, the states' IP laws still contain idiosyncrasies peculiar to themselves and to the GCC, such as the status of Shariah law. The driving force behind this development has been primarily external, and hence a dichotomy has arisen between the formal expression in the legislation and its practical appliction through the enforcement efforts. The dichotomy arises because of these external pressures to adopt laws for which the states do not yet have the expertise, infrastructures or cultural mores to effectively execute to the level of satisfaction sought by the more demanding developed countries. Even though the GCC states have regimes that are largely TRIPS-compliant, they now face ongoing pressures from developed countries, notably the United States, to adopt even higher standards of protection - TRIPS-plus standards. The pressure is applied through bilateral investment treaties and free trade aggreements, which are then being promoted by the developed countries as representing the new international consesus on IP protection standards. Accordingly, IP protection in the Gulf region is still, in essence, "work in progress".
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