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Intellectual Property Paradoxes in Developing Countries: The Case of Software IP Protection in Iran

Title: Intellectual Property Paradoxes in Developing Countries: The Case of Software IP Protection in Iran

Authors: Bagheri, Seyed Kamran; Casprini, Elena

Abstract: In the context of developing countries,
scholars have started to report at least two paradoxical phenomena related to
intellectual property (IP) protection: (1) weak appropriability regime despite
having fairly good IP laws and regulations, and (2) increased demand for
intellectual property rights (IPRs) despite low level of IP protection. Beyond
these paradoxes, prior research suffers in varying degree from two common
flaws: (a) they either considered de jure
or de facto IP laws, but not both,
and (b) they did not represent all developing countries, being mostly focused
on China with no empirical support. This paper aims at addressing these gaps by
exploring both de jure and de facto software IP protection in Iran
as a less-researched developing country. The authors look at the de jure software IP protection and,
then, empirically investigate the de
facto software IP protection in the country. The results show that despite
having multiple legal mechanisms for protecting software innovations, Iranian
software developers consider the overall level of software IP protection
offered as low. Paradoxically, a vast majority of the surveyed software
innovators had applied for various available IP rights.

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