This paper explores how regulatory responses to emerging IP issues in digital trade may develop at the international level and in particular how existing mechanisms might influence the chances of developing internationally agreed rules in this regard. The primacy of state sovereignty in intellectual property up to the late 19th century gave way to the important WIPO treaties, which still retained some independence of member states and based international regulatory responses directly on national experience. While more regulatory sovereignty was ceded in TRIPS, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, the adoption of non-binding instruments (such as the WIPO Joint Recommendations in the area of trademarks) show the limits of decision making by consensus.


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  • Published online: 03 Feb 2021
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