Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2011


In both the economic and political realm, India and Brazil exhibit similar interests and policies. Yet, in the area of intellectual property rights (IPRs)—in particular, generic production of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS—these nations’ policies differ. India, for example, has exercised a policy of strategic cooperation with the United States and pharmaceutical companies, while Brazil has pursued a policy of strategic restraint. Why is this so? These differing approaches can be attributed to the manner in which these two nations initially implemented the defining IPR agreement, the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). India’s gradual implementation of TRIPS afforded it the opportunity to modify the agreement so as to preserve its generic manufacturing sector. In contrast, Brazil’s hurried implementation significantly restricted the state’s generic manufacturing sector, in turn motivating the state to pursue a more adversarial approach with the United States and pharmaceutical companies to safeguard its generic drug sector. By examining India and Brazil’s distinct implementation processes of TRIPS, this paper reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each respective policy process, shedding light on the larger policy controversies surroundings IPRs in the developing world.