Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 March 2020
The international harmonization of intellectual property rules has tended on average to strengthen such rights, and to primarily benefit the leaders in international technology markets. The American patent system influenced policies in Britain, France, and such “follower countries” as Germany, Spain, Japan, and China, both individually and through multinational conventions. At the same time, these countries endogenously selected an array of standards and exemptions that varied on the basis of their social and economic needs. Developing countries that resisted exogenous political pressures to wholly harmonize their institutions arguably benefited from, or at least were not necessarily harmed by, their divergent intellectual property cultures. The historical record suggests that intellectual property institutions were most effective when they evolved in accordance with the underlying social and economic fundamentals of each nation.