Whose Game?

A world where geopolitics is the dominant driver

This scenario is the story of a boomerang effect which strikes today's dominant players in the patent world as a result of changing geopolitical balances and competing ambitions.


The developed world increasingly fails to use IP to maintain technological superiority; new entrants try to catch up so they can improve their citizens' living standards. But many developing world countries are excluded from the process, and work instead within a 'communal knowledge' paradigm.

The tigers emerge: In 1973, the combined GDP of West Europe and the US was six times greater than that of India and China. In 2050, the GDP of India and China will be 1.3 times greater than that of Europe and the US and the population of the Asian powers will increase faster than that of Western ones.

Nationals and cultures compete and IP has become a powerful weapon in this battle. The new entrants become increasingly successful at shaping the evolution of the system, using it to establish economic advantage, adapting the existing rules as their geopolitical influence grows. 

Enforcement becomes increasingly difficult and the IP world becomes more fragmented. Attempts are made to address the issues of development and technology transfer.

Key questions:

  • What are the main drivers for future geopolitical change? How might they steer globalisation?
  • What impact might this have on existing structures and institutions?
  • How might this impact the IP system globally and regionally?
  • Does the patent system serve the world's various interests fairly?
  • Muriel I


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