Patent legislation and the transfer of technology to the less developed countries : with special references to Zambia

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Ojok-Bwangamoyi, John Simpson Peter Pop.
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This study is undertaken to provoke a more serious attention in the Less Developed Countries towards the issues of technology as a vital vehicle for economic and social upsurge in the Less Developed Countries. Most of the Studies on this important subject have been taken in and by the Developed Nations, while the Less Developed Countries merely mention it in passing. This is a serious omission or neglect, if it is, on the part of the Less Developed Countries. While it is undoubtedly true that technology is the most important single item of input in industrialisation and economic development, it is equally imperative that those who consume it must fully appreciate its adva¬ntages and disadvantages, in all forms and in every concievable area of its application. It is only then can the Less Developed Countries realise and perhaps maximise their gains from the technology that they import or hope to develop. This dissertation is divided into four Chapters. • Chapter One, traces briefly the origin of the International patent legislation and the spread of national patent legislations. Traditional justifications for patents are also examined. It is believed that one would not fully appre¬ciate the issues of transfer of technology without one having a basic knowledge of the socio-economic infrastructure importing the technology. Consequently Chapter two discusses the politi¬cal economy of the Less Developed Countries. The role of the Multinational Corporations as •participants' in the Less Developed Countries' economic development or underdevelopment and as 'transportees' or 'transferees' of the very much needed technology to Less Developed Countries is critically evaluated. The role patent system plays in bringing about foreign investment as well as the part the system plays in the transfer of technology is also looked at in this Chapter. In Chapter three, we examine the arguments for and against patents especially in the hands of the multinational Corporations. The approach used is the cost/benefit analysis of patent monopolies, to the Vorld in general, and for the economies of the Less Developed Countries in particular, A balance Sheet is drawn, from which a conclusion that patents are a grave injustice to Less Developed Countries, is read. Chapter four discusses the futile efforts of the Less Developed Countries to re.dress them¬selves of the inappropriateness of the patent system to their economic development needs; and the multifaceted harmful effects the patent system rains on them: The Chapter examines attempts to redress these ills at International forums, under the international and national patent legislations, and through national legal and economic measures.
Patent laws and legislation , Technology transfer.