GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
the GCC’s IP enforcement dichotomy
Paper Proposal Text :
The Intellectual Property rights protection regimes of the GCC member states have undergone dramatic, radical and progressive change and development over the last twenty years - since the the establishment of the WTO and the compliance obligations enshrined in the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. And in some respects, that climate of change is still continuing. The major trend has been towards a shift towards greatly increased codification of law and administered regulation which has entailed increasing substitution of institutionalized procedures for the former informal, discretionary exercise of personal authority sometimes based on local interpretation of Shariah legal principles.
But having the requisite intellectual property laws, even if they are not fully TRIPS-compliant, is one thing; being able to effectively enforce them and achieve the desired outcomes is another matter. Notwithstanding the presence of comprehensive sets of laws and treaty commitments, this presentation argues that there exists a dichotomy between the principle of intellectual property protection as enshrined in the various legislative regimes, and its practical application as exemplified by the degree of effective enforcement action. While the states now enjoy comprehensive statutory regimes and are progressively initiating the consequential structural, judicial, and institutional reforms to give the regimes full and proper effect, the effectiveness of their enforcement outcomes, particularly in respect of the deterrence capability of sanctions, have yet to reach the standards required by the developed nations who constitute the major global exporters of intellectual property.
This presentation argues that this dichotomy arises as a consequence of the external pressures upon the states to adopt laws for which they have neither the resources, nor expertise, nor infrastructures to effectively execute to the level of satisfaction sought by the more demanding developed countries. The presentation speculates on the extent to which the legislative and operational responses of the states satisfy WTO/developed countries expectations, and what further changes might be sought in the future.
This presentation examines the extent to which the Gulf states have achieved the TRIPS enforcement requirements. It is suggested that, while they have generally succeeded in establishing the necessary legislative regimes and judicial frameworks that address the above TRIPS requirements (although not exclusively within intellectual property frameworks). However, they have not been as successful in creating and bringing to a state of operational effectiveness the essential infrastructural and administrative strategies and processes.