Washington, DC. The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) released today an interim study that reports that growth in the developing and transitioning economies of Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific critically rests on the capacities of courts and judges to enforce commercial rights and resolve commercial conflicts.

“Courts ought to be thought of as the least appreciated branch of government for capitalist, market-based economic growth,” said Michael P. Ryan, one of the authors of the report. “We contend that market-based transactions achieve their efficiencies when governments encourage investment, safeguard contracts, and settle commercial disputes. Courts are becoming increasingly appreciated as critical institutions for economic success.” Ryan is a professor of international political economy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Project Director at IIPI.

The report finds that the logic of the organizational demands of building judicial capacity with respect to IP enforcement and dispute settlement rests largely on three characteristics:

* Knowledge characteristics. Increased specialization by judges and courts can help manage challenges of complexity in IP cases.
* Efficiency characteristics. Judicial capacity depends on investment into recruiting more judges, providing them with sufficient staff help, and deploying information technologies in ways that improve court operations.
* Legitimacy characteristics. The establishment of specialized IP courts or other resolution forums composed of knowledgeable, fair judges, adequately supported through transparent, meritocratic processes, who are well-paid, empowered with bench authority, yet made accountable to the public and their elected representatives.

The “Interim Report on Judicial Capacity Regarding Intellectual Property – Enforcement and Dispute Settlement” draws upon in-country research conducted by the Institute in addition to findings from existing studies conducted by legal counsel and enforcement staff located around the world. IIPI selected 15 countries for intensive study based on a sample design that sought variation according to several variables. The countries studied include Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Peru, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

Over 130 judicial experts from around the world are discussing the findings of this report today at a conference hosted in Washington by IIPI. Judge Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Professor Martin J. Adelman, Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at the George Washington University National Law Center contributed to the report and participated in conference sessions.