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Strengthening intellectual property rights: Experience from the 1986 Taiwanese patent reforms

By Shih-tse Lo


Do stronger intellectual property rights spur inventive activity and foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries? What are the characteristics of industries where strengthening patent rights has the most favorable impact? In an attempt to answer these questions, this paper uses the 1986 Taiwanese patent reforms to examine the effects of strengthening patent rights in a developing economy. I find that the reforms encouraged R&D effort across industries. In addition, industries that were highly R&D intensive witnessed a marked increase in their patenting in the United States. The reforms also induced additional FDI.Intellectual property rights Patents Invention

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