Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Harmonization of international intellectual property laws has been the object of considerable recent effort under both public international law and international trade law. The GATT Uruguay Round Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) resulted in significant steps toward harmonization. The proper application of compulsory licensing of patents under TRIPS has been the subject of much early debate. Proposed standards of compensation have been wildly divergent, reflecting the conflicting policy concerns of developed and developing nations.

This Note provides an overview of the conflict between developed and developing nations over the proper reach of intellectual property rights. It then briefly discusses the evolution of international intellectual property regulations, with a focus on patents. The Note defines and describes international regulation of compulsory licenses under TRIPS, and examines current national compulsory licensing statutes. The author discusses some proposed standards of compensation for compulsory licenses, and concludes with recommendations as to the appropriate approach to defining the standard of compensation for compulsory licenses under TRIPS.