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Globalization without convergence : An analysis of the harmonization of intellectual property laws across three different legal regimes

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Title:Globalization without convergence : An analysis of the harmonization of intellectual property laws across three different legal regimes
Authors:Kudo, Benjamin A.
Date Issued:2008
Description:Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
Based on my conclusion, the mere harmonizing of IP laws without concomitant changes to the legal regimes of member nations may not yield similar judicial outcomes. Consequently, the underlying use and reliance on convergence theory by WTO may not work and should be reevaluated in light of this research.
Globalization has created pressures on nations to conform their societies, culture, political ideologies, and laws in order to engender parity and facilitate economic trade, foreign direct investment and technology transfers. Multilateral trade and global economic alliances like the World Trade Organization ("WTO") have demanded that member nations conform their business practices and laws to achieve a "level playing field." In order to accomplish this, the WTO has adopted and relied considerably on convergence theory. This theory maintains, in part, that the harmonization of laws such as those dealing with intellectual property ("IP") will make the global marketplace more efficient and fair and benefit participating nation economies.
However, merely harmonizing IP laws may be insufficient to create a "level playing field" for trade and commerce. In order for convergence theory to work, not only must IP laws be harmonized, but more importantly, the respective legal regimes of the signatory countries must also be conformed.
This research analyzes the harmonization of IP laws across three different legal regimes. In particular, I focus on the regimes of America, Japan and the Philippines, which have harmonized their IP laws in accordance with the WTO requirements. Using legal case studies I conducted personal interviews of selected judges and justices from each legal regime to identify their mental processes used in judicial decision making. The research yielded results which indicated that given similar laws and facts, jurists from each legal regime use unique mental processes not used by jurists of other regimes. This finding was corroborated by the significant variations in judicial outcome between regimes, and the lack of uniformity of outcome across ail regimes. From this finding, I conclude that legal regimes appear to serve as a moderator of judicial outcome.
show 3 moreIncludes bibliographical references (leaves 225-241).
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Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - International Management

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