Graduating with Momentum: Intellectual Property Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for Least Developed Countries


Tom Pengelly


This paper explores the potential for LDCs, including those that will soon graduate from the category, to benefit from intellectual property rights (IPRs). It argues that a more pro-development intellectual property (IP) agenda is needed for LDCs, tailored to their specific context and development goals. The paper provides evidence-based analysis to assist LDCs to navigate potential IPR-related challenges upon graduation and to develop IP regimes and systems that support the development of productive capacities, technological upgrading and innovation as part of broader efforts to achieve inclusive growth and structural transformation. While acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the paper proposes a range of forward-looking solutions, innovations, capacity-building options, policy positions and legislative steps, which can be adapted to specific country contexts and circumstances as appropriate, to help LDCs attenuate the negative impact of the loss of LDC-specific flexibilities and possibly unlock IPR-related benefits both before and after graduation.



22 February 2024

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