propiedad intelectual

Trade in knowledge: Intellectual property, digital trade and knowledge flows

Since the WTO TRIPS Agreement came into force in 1995, the scale, diversity and nature of cross-border commercial transactions in knowledge, and the ways in which intellectual property is licensed and traded, have changed fundamentally. This portal provides material aimed at helping policymakers and others keep abreast of current developments in trade in knowledge, understand the changing patterns of knowledge flows across borders, and consider the legal, economic and policy dimensions of these developments.

Digital technology

Digital technology has transformed business models based on IP. A significant proportion of trade in knowledge now constitutes transactions based on licences of IP rights. In addition, IP transactions form an integral part of global production chains. Innovators can access new trading platforms, creating new business opportunities, while increasing attention is being paid to how to make best use of the opportunities provided by the knowledge economy in areas such as sustainable development. 

Mapping trade in knowledge

It is essential for policymakers to have a sound understanding of the technological transformation of IP trade  so that they can develop trade policies that respond to a digitally transformed knowledge economy.

To improve understanding of issues relating to trade in IP products, the WTO Secretariat has built on a WTO Training Workshop on Trade in Knowledge Products, organized in 2018, to create a co-publication with Cambridge University Press on trade in knowledge, to be published in 2022. It also organized a [email protected] Webinar on TRIPS and Trade in Knowledge in 2021.

The resources in this portal are intended to support WTO technical assistance activities and to inspire ground-breaking research by contributors across the world.

Key resources: Trade in Knowledge


Thematic overview: Charting the evolution of knowledge flows

Conceptual framework

The shifting contours of trade in knowledge: the new 'trade-related aspects' of intellectual property

How digitization is transforming trade

Intellectual property and digital trade - mapping international regulatory responses to emerging issues

Measuring trade in knowledge

Measuring international intellectual property transactions in a globalized world: current challenges and possible improvements

A missing link in the analysis of global value chains: Cross-border flows of intangible assets, taxation and related measurement implications

Global ebbs and flows of patent knowledge

Sources of knowledge flow between developed and developing countries

Using intellectual property data to measure cross-border knowledge flows

The Global Digital Content Landscape

Cross-border knowledge flows through R&D FDI: Implications for LMMICs

The innovation environment and knowledge diffusion: improving policy decisions through patent analytics

Impact of knowledge flows on trade and development

Global knowledge flows, absorptive capacity, and capability acquisition: old ideas, recent evidence, and new approaches

Trade in intellectual property-intensive goods

Knowledge spillovers through international supply chains

How do patents shape global value chains? International and domestic patenting and value-added Trade

The enforcement of intellectual property rights in a digital Era

The digital creative economy and blockchains: options and prospects for the developing world

Policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks

Streaming of music and audiovisual works

Adapting trade rules for the age of big data

Trade in knowledge and cross-border data flows: a look at emerging digital regulatory issues

Cross-border knowledge flows under international trade agreements: a need for new multilateral disciplines?

The need for a global framework for knowledge transactions: cross border licensing and enforcement

Fitting machine-generated data into trade regulatory holes

The WTO Secretariat is looking forward to publishing a second edition of the volume in the future. Interested authors are invited to send any chapter proposals to [email protected], including a short abstract of their proposed chapter, author biographies and any preliminary drafts (if available).

Table of Contents

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