The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted November 26 -27, 2007 a discussion grouping 15 leading economists from around the world on the economics of Intellectual Property (IP). 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted November 26 -27, 2007 a discussion grouping 15 leading economists from around the world on the economics of Intellectual Property (IP). The aim of the International Roundtable on the Economics of IP was to review the available economic literature in this field and identify empirical research projects that could be undertaken in developing countries and countries in transition. The economists reviewed relevant empirical evidence, identified gaps in the literature and discussed methodological approaches that could be applied to study the issues in developing countries and countries in transition. 

The basis for discussions were six draft papers on the following themes: Innovation and Appropriability Strategies, IP and International Technology Transfer, IP Rights in the Pharmaceutical Industry, The Economics of Copyright, The Economics of Geographical Indications and IP Rights and Knowledge Transfer from Public Research Organizations and Universities to Industry.

Discussions focused on the type of empirical research that could be undertaken in developing countries and countries with economies in transition in these areas. Participants generally recognized that there had not been adequate empirical economic research on IP in developing countries and that this could limit the capacity for evidence-based policy-making in this field. It was highlighted that the lack of data and difficulties in understanding the intricacies of the IP system by economists may be some of the reasons why limited research has been undertaken in this area.

Participants acknowledged that empirical research undertaken over recent years in industrialized countries could provide interesting insights on how to study the issues in developing countries, but greater efforts should be made at ensuring that research was adapted to the realities and policy-making needs of developing countries.

On each of the six themes, suggestions were made on the types of research projects that could be undertaken and discussions enabled participating economists to test their ideas with colleagues and jointly explore possible projects. The draft papers prepared for the roundtable will be revised on the basis of discussions and the final papers are expected to be published in the first half of 2008.