Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Book Review: The Implementation Game

51Eljm2NNOL__AA115_In the last Afro-IP post, Kingsley wrote about Uganda’s coming ability to manufacture medicines in-country and its plans to maintain the current importation of generics from India and China.  Kingsley also mentioned that Uganda is a member of a number of international IP treaties.  Uganda is able to manufacture and import generic medicines without violating those international treaties because of the exceptions in TRIPs.  Exceptions like these are allowed for all developing countries, but Uganda remains one of the very few taking advantage of them.  Why?

This is part of the question explored in Carolyn Deere’s fabulous book The Implementation Game: The TRIPS Agreement and the Global Politics of Intellectual Property Reform in Developing Countries.  Little Leo admits she’s a bit behind as this book was published a few years ago, but it is still an excellent read and highly relevant.

Deere explores not only the different manners in which countries implemented TRIPs in their own laws, but also the reasons behind these choices.  In the book’s own words, “this book gives substance to the view that developing countries’ policies are often set by others.”

The book concludes that a number of different factors contributed to the economically-strange high level of IP protection put in many local laws when implementing TRIPs.   From national politics, to international trade, Deere shows just how many pieces of our global interactions are intertwined in determining IP laws and norms.

One of the highlights of the book is an entire chapter dedicated to Francophone Africa.  This is a region often overlooked in English IP writings and Deere does it justice.  Unlike many other IP and developing country writings, The Implementation Game doesn’t focus solely on pharmaceuticals or access to medicines.  The book covers all forms of IP in TRIPs, although the Francophone Africa chapter does only touch on copyright briefly.

Deere’s predictions in the last chapter are also very interesting to read because of the time that’s passed since the book was published.  A few of her predictions are already proving true; others look likely but we’ll have to wait and see.  The only slightly negative thing to be said about the book is that the editing isn’t great. There’s a number of typos throughout.


Oxford University Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-19-955061-6 (hardcover)
Pages: 342, including charts but excluding bibliography.
List Price: US$95

One benefit of Little Leo’s pokiness is that the cheaper ($35.00) and lighter paperback version is now available. also has a Kindle version

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