Distinguished economists, political scientists, and legal experts discuss the implications of the increasingly globalized protection of intellectual property rights for the ability of countries to provide their citizens with such important public goods as basic research, education, public health, and environmental protection. Such items increasingly depend on the exercise of private rights over technical inputs and information goods, which could usher in a brave new world of accelerating technological innovation. However, higher and more harmonized levels of international intellectual property rights could also throw up high roadblocks in the path of follow-on innovation, competition and the attainment of social objectives. It is at best unclear who represents the public interest in negotiating forums dominated by powerful knowledge cartels. This is the first book to assess the public processes and inputs that an emerging transnational system of innovation will need to promote technical progress, economic growth and welfare for all participants.