Chapter 9 Patent and innovation system developments in Europe, Asia and the US
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An unusual spur of IP reform activities has followed in the aftermath of the advent of the pro-IP era. All countries in the sample have made significant reforms for developing innovation-based economies and becoming innovation-oriented countries. The international patent system as a Western capitalist institution has been adopted and strengthened, especially in Asian countries with China as a prime example. A switch to a strong IP regime tends to occur at a certain development stage for nationalistic protectionist reasons. Patent and innovation policies have risen to the top political and industrial levels, albeit still not well integrated. The pace of patenting and patent reforms has been remarkably high in Asia while lower in Europe and the US. Institutional complexity and gaming in an old and idiosyncratic institutional framework slowed down patent reform work in Europe and the US, producing a meandering policy-making process filled with overoptimistic expectations of “time to signing”. Cross-country convergence was found in several respects – innovation policy convergence with a common supply-side bias, patent system convergence and institutional convergence more generally.

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