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Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law



Traditionally, intellectual property lawmaking is a matter of domestic affairs. Without external interference, governments make value judgments as to what would best promote the creation and dissemination of intellectual works in their own countries. Combined together, these disparate judgments form an intellectual property system that is tailored to the country's level of wealth, economic structure, technological capability, political system, and cultural tradition.

To protect authors and inventors, governments sometimes need to make adjustments to their intellectual property systems in exchange for better protection abroad. In those scenarios, policymakers often evaluate the adjustments carefully to make sure that they correspond to the country's socio-economic conditions, research and development capabilities, and institutional and budgetary constraints. Thus, most bilateral and multilateral intellectual property treaties tend to focus on a limited range of issues. Even when they seek to harmonize protection by creating international minimum standards, these treaties are designed with such flexibility that allows governments "wiggle room" to develop their own intellectual property systems.

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Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

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