This Article argues that sound intellectual property policy requires not only that the policymaker establish an appropriate incentive for invention but also that the policymaker determine how the cost of that incentive should be distributed across various classes of consumers. It is the distributive dimension of intellectual property policy that makes existing international institutions such an unsound mechanism for determining global rules for intellectual policy--the policymakers are simply not able to make the appropriate kinds of decisions. I suggest some ways in which institutional structures can be modified to achieve a better balance.


Intellectual Property, TRIPS

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Michigan State Law Review

Publication Information

2007 Mich. St. L. Rev. 143


Originally published in 2007 Mich. St. L. Rev. 143


COinS Peter M. Gerhart Faculty Bio