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New Rights or Better Enforcement of Existing Rights? The Policies of Global Public-Private Partnerships Against Intellectual Property Crimes

Christopher Paun
Universität Bremen
Christopher Paun
Universität Bremen
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper explores the under-researched issue area of global public-private partnerships (PPPs) against intellectual property (IP) crimes. It is based on a finished PhD research project that included interviews with more than 30 participants of such PPPs from different countries around the world. Key factors that explain the formation, maintenance, termination, and reform of such partnerships are identified by comparing successful and failed PPPs. First, the paper introduces to the topic of IP crime, also known as counterfeiting and piracy. Then a brief literature review shows that the term PPP is used in very different ways. To increase the usability of the term, the paper proposes a typology of different PPPs based on the governance of the partnerships. In the subsequent sections of the paper empirical examples of global PPPs against IP crimes are analyzed, whose secretariats are hosted by three public international organizations: Interpol, World Customs Organization (WCO), and World Health Organization (WHO). By comparing the different paths of these three international organizations and their PPPs, six key factors are identified that explain the formation, maintenance, termination, and reform of such PPPs: (1) the implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, (2) absolute and relative gains of resources, (3) discretion of the secretariat of the PPP, (4) agencies representing states, (5) perceived legitimacy of participants, and (6) the policy pursued by the PPP: whether it is about enforcement of existing rights or advocacy for new rights.