A Special Issue to be published in the

Journal of International Business Policy


Proposal Submission Deadline Date: December 15, 2018


Special Issue Co-Editors: 


Suma Athreye 

Professor of Technology Strategy

Essex Business School

Southend Campus

University of Essex


 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]

Lucia Piscitello

Professor of International Business,

DIG-Politecnico di Milano

Milan and University of Reading, UK


 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]

Ken Shadlen

Professor in Development Studies 

Department of International Development

London School of Economics


 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]



Special Issue Description


Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have become ubiquitous in current
debates about trade and globalization, and have emerged as a key issue of
contention in global trade and investment negotiations. The 'Agreement on
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights' (TRIPS), signed in
1994 as a founding element of the World Trade Organization, represents the
most important attempt to establish a global harmonization of Intellectual
Property protection, creating international standards for the protection of
patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs. As part of the World Trade
Organization, it also is subject to that organization's dispute settlement
system, and thus, unlike previous international agreements on IPRs, includes
enforcement procedures at the intergovernmental level.


Protecting IPRs of course means different things for firms, who most profit
from them, and for governments, who bear the burden of creating the
infrastructure for the enforcement of IPRs (and, in some areas, are among
the major consumers of goods protected by IPRs). The processes of IP
legislation and enforcement can thus be difficult and controversial.  In
designing IP polices governments need to mindful of balancing the reward for
innovative activity with the incentives for diffusion of that innovation.
Put differently, the interests of the producers must be arrayed against the
interests of the consumer. Even within a national economy, this may be
difficult as producers are much better organized to lobby policy than are
consumers (Olsen 1962).  In an international context this can be almost
impossible to achieve without some supra-national intervention. Thus the
adoption of TRIPS at the multilateral level and its implementation at
national levels has been fraught with conflicts, as many political
scientists (e.g. May and Sell, 2006; Ryan, 1998; Sell, 2003; Matthews 2002;
Deere 2008) and economists (e.g., Archibugi and Filippetti, 2010; Maskus,
2000; Maskus and Reichman, 2005) have shown.


Nearly two and a half decades after TRIPS came into effect, much has changed
in the global innovation landscape.  Technology trade has flourished and
more technology has been transferred to emerging market subsidiaries by
MNEs. China has emerged as a major power making huge strides in patenting in
both domestic, European and US jurisdictions (Hu et al 2017; Li 2012).
Indian public research institutes like CSIR have found patenting has helped
them become more self-reliant for funds.  New institutional forms of
Intellectual Property which pool patents have also emerged in response to
the global challenges.  Examples include the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to
tackle AIDS (WIPO 2011), the GAVI alliance to improve childhood immunization
(Kremer and Grennerster, 2004) and the EcoPatent Commons, GreenXchange and
Canada's Oil Sands Alliance (COSIA) to control carbon emissions (Awad,


Although IB theories emphasize the role of innovation and technological
change in originating and strengthening the competitive advantages of the
MNE, IB scholarship has focused mostly on  considering IPR regulations as a
location advantage/disadvantage (e.g. Ivus, Park, Saggi, 2017), or an
institutional factor (e.g., Peng, Ahlstrom, Carraher, Shi, 2017a, b; Peng,
2013) interacting with MNE  strategies.  This is a narrow view and one that
does not address the emerging new institutional developments around
intellectual property policy and the effects of these on trade, investment
and multinational behavior.


TRIPS also generated new political configurations between governments and
business (and other social actors) and, importantly, the use of non-market
strategies to influence IPR policy. Understanding these new patterns of
organization and political mobilization, traditionally the domain of
political economy, is exceedingly important in the context of emerging
markets where implementing TRIPS implied substantial changes to national
laws and policies. The most studied sector in this regard has been
pharmaceuticals, as TRIPS required countries to allow drugs to be patented
when many countries previously did not do so. National debates are no longer
about whether drug firms should get patents, but how strong the associated
rights should be, and how long these rights of exclusion should last for.
Shadlen (2017) shows that national approaches to both introducing
pharmaceutical patent systems and reforming these new patent systems have
been driven by constellations of interests in society (rather than, for
example, the ideology of incumbent presidents or the nature of political
institutions). These issues, namely how the focal points of debate have
changed and the search for drivers of cross-national and within-country
variation, are common to a range of global challenges, beyond
pharmaceuticals, such as clean technologies and global warming.


As regional trading blocs run into political problems it may be worth
reassessing the TRIPS experience once again to highlight what has worked
well and what has not. The proposed special issue aims at stimulating a
wider discussion on the international patenting landscape, its use by
emerging markets and the influence on trade and MNE strategies.  This is a
two-way interaction where firm behaviors can help/influence the design of
better IP policies, but whose successful implementation in turn requires
cooperation from firms (Lundan, 2018). This special issue is aimed at an
inter-disciplinary audience in a genuine effort to bring together research
that wants to understand the experience of TRIPS and what it offers in terms
of IPR policy as the world heads towards de-globalisation.  Related
contributions have gradually begun to appear in the IB literature (Journal
of World Business, Transnational Corporations and Journal of International
Business Policy).  Relevant research has also appeared in other disciplines
such as Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Development Studies and
Journal of Development Economics. They provide some stepping stones and
research agendas for this special issue. 


The Journal of International Business Policy (JIBP) aims to be a leader in
publishing high quality research analyzing emerging public policy trends and
their impact on international firms.  Through this Special Issue call, JIBP
aims specifically to champion research analyzing the contribution of IP
harmonization to processes of technology transfer, policy making, capability
building and challenges to governance.  This special issue is intended to be
a first - but certainly not last - focal point triggering IB scholarly
attention to this area. For that reason, this special issue will also be
accompanied by a Paper Development Workshop in December 2019. 

The following is an indicative (but not exhaustive) list of topics to guide
potential authors:


1.       The effect of IPR  policies on technology-related trade and


*         Home- and host-country IPR policy effects on technology trade and
choice of partners, before and after TRIPS

*         How the spread of global value chains (GVCs) and countries' and
firms' integration into GVCs affects national IP strategy

*         How TRIPS has affected the internationalization and "off-shoring"
of research and development


2.            Domestic and foreign firms and the political economy of IPR


*         MNE influence on regional and/or global IP harmonization. 

*         MNE lobbying strategies to change IPR policies in host and home

*         The internationalization of trademarks

*         Case studies of national politics around joining the Patent
Cooperation Treaty


3.            IPR policies: Trends and effects at the country level


*         Home- and host-country IPR regulatory effects on domestic
technological capability and economic development 

*         Home- and host-country IPR policy effects on inward and outward

*         IPR and patenting patterns in home- and host-countries 

*         The emergence of competition and antitrust institutions as
important actors in countries and sectors where patenting is new

*         Understanding the changing demands for stronger IP rules by local
actors in industries where imitation and reverse-engineering are difficult


4.            IP implementation and its effect on economic outcomes

*         Understanding the differences between de jure and de facto levels
of IP protection and the effect of divergence on technology investment and

*         How TRIPS has affected the role of technology transfer offices in
public (and private) universities and research institutions

*         IP infringement and its effect on MNE investment and domestic

*         Effectiveness of new IPR regimes (patent pooling) for solving the
technology needs of global challenges 

*         New forms of property right protection (in the digital age); open
models for patents


We welcome extended proposals from research in all relevant scientific
fields (researchers in IB, economics, political science, sociology, law,
geography, innovation, development studies, public policy, and international
relations) and especially welcome proposals bridging various scientific
disciplines. A paper can be aimed at theory development, but can also be
empirical (aimed at collecting and interpreting larger data samples or
specific case studies).  To give us a wider choice of papers, our call is
for extended proposals which should be submitted to the Editors by 15
December 2018.  Selected proposals will be expected to submit full papers by
15 July 2019. 


Special Issue Proposals


Proposals should be written in English and not exceed a total of seven (7)
pages and 4000 words - five (5) pages for the body which can include charts,
graphs, diagrams, and up to two (2) pages of references. The 4000-word count
includes all text in the charts, graphs, diagrams, and references.

Only electronic submissions of proposal(s) will be accepted, submitted via
the Manuscript Central portal for JIBP: A maximum of two (2) proposals,
either as an author or a co-author, may be submitted.


We seek original, unpublished work to move the scholarly conversation on
TRIPS forward. Proposals may be rooted in or derived from prior work, but
the submitted proposal must reflect significant development. Any proposal
submitted that is judged to be identical or substantially similar to work
already published, presented or under review for another conference or
publication, will not be considered for invitation to develop a full


Proposals are easiest to handle if submitted in PDF format. MS Word (or
equivalent) will also be accepted. The title should be listed in the header
of each page. Please use single spacing and 10-point font or larger. All
proposals received by the deadline date (December 15, 2018) are deemed as
original and final.


Proposals are reviewed by the special issue editors, so they are not
anonymous. Proposals should include name and institutional affiliation of
all authors. Authors who submit full manuscripts can expect a standard
double-blind peer review process after submission.



Timeline from Proposal to Publication


-          December 15, 2018: Deadline for submission of extended proposals

-          January 20, 2019:  Notification of acceptance or rejection of
proposals for development as full manuscripts for submission

-          June 24-27, 2019 (AIB 2019 Copenhagen): Editors participate in a
panel that highlights the current JIBP special issues

-          July 15, 2019: Deadline for submission of full papers via
Manuscript Central portal for JIBP ( <>

-          September 15, 2019: First round of double-blind peer review of
submitted papers concluded

-          December 2019: Revised papers to be presented at a Paper
Development Workshop

-          Jan 15, 2020: Editorial notification of conditional acceptance or
rejection for inclusion in the JIBP special issue

-          March 1, 2020: Final manuscripts submitted for the special issue

-          June 2020:  Special issue publication


Selected bibliography

Archibugi D., Filippetti A. (2010), The Globalisation of Intellectual
Property Rights: Four Learned Lessons and Four Theses, Global Policy, 1(2):
137- 149.

Awad, B. (2015), Global Patent Pledges A Collaborative Mechanism For Climate
Change Technology, CIGI  papers #81, Canada.  [ last accessed 04/08/2018
from  <>]

Albert G.Z. Hu, Peng Zhang , Lijing Zhao (2017) China as number one?
Evidence from China's most recent patenting surge, Journal of Development
Economics, 124,  107-119.

Deere, C. (2008) The Implementation Game: The TRIPS Agreement and the Global
Politics of Intellectual Property Reform in Developing Countries. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.

Ivus, O., Park, W.G. & Saggi, K. (2017), Patent protection and the
composition of multinational activity: Evidence from US multinational firms,
Journal of International Business Studies, 48(7): 808-836. 

Kremer, M., & Glennerster, R. (2004). Strong Medicine - Creating incentives
for pharmaceutical research on neglected diseases. Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press.

Li, Xibao  (2012).  Behind the recent surge of Chinese patenting: An
institutional view, Research Policy 41 236-249.

Maskus, K. E. (2000) Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy.
Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics. 

Maskus, K. E. and Reichman, J. H. (2005) International Public Goods and
Transfer of Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Matthews, D (2002) Globalising Intellectual Property Rights: The TRIPS
Agreement. Routledge.

May, C. and Sell, S. (2006) Intellectual Property Rights: A Critical
History. London: Lynne Rienner.

Peng, M. W. (2013). An institution-based view of IPR protection. Business
Horizons, 56: 135-139. 

Peng, M. W., Ahlstrom, D., Carraher, S. M., & Shi, W. (2017a). History and
the debate over intellectual property. Management and Organization Review,
13(1): 15-38.

Peng, M. W., Ahlstrom, D., Carraher, S. M., & Shi, W. (2017b). An
institution-based view of global IPR history, Journal of International
Business Studies, 48(7): 893-907.

Ryan, M. R. (1998) Knowledge Diplomacy: Global Competition and the Politics
of Intellectual Property. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Sell, S. K. (2003) Private Power, Public Law: The Globalization of
Intellectual Property Rights. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shadlen, K.C (2017) Coalitions and Compliance: The Political Economy of
Pharmaceutical Patents in Latin America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

WIPO (2011) Medicines Patent Pool: Facilitating Access to HIV Treatment.
Wipo magazine ( last accessed 04/08/18 from



AIB-L is brought to you by the Academy of International Business.
For information:
To post message: [log in to unmask]
For assistance:  [log in to unmask]
AIB-L is a moderated list.