There is little settled or uncontested about the trips agreement and the global governance of intellectual property rights (iprs). This suggests that the provision of training and technical assistance to build capacity is itself part of the reproduction of the dominant (trips constituted) view of iprs and is therefore a political project rather than merely technical provision. On one side many developing countries' elites and governments are keen to join the international trading community and see the need to adopt the increasingly universalised rules of the system as part of this process. On the other hand, there are vocal constituencies less supportive of an unqualified adoption of trips‐related standards of legal protection for iprs. Given the continuing importance of legal structures to underpin and constitute markets (and this is most especially the case in markets for knowledge and information), the processes by which the trips solution to the question of knowledge ownership is being globalised through technical training needs to be understood and analysed.
reprinted in: May, C (ed.) The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights (3 vols) (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010)