The Role of Copying in Innovation

A contract with the ASEAN Secretariat allowed an investigation of the role that IPR plays in the innovation of SMEs in the region (with T. Turpin). It would seem that the role is very small indeed, as are prospects for making it greater. The project has been extended to consider the need for copying in innovation. The project concludes that copying is often essential to innovation, and that antagonism towards copying reflects the attitude of the developed world rather than the developing world. Such attitudes are recent and stem from regarding information as private property rather than a public resource, and from the lobbying of large corporations.