Bagheri, S.K. and Casprini, E. (2014), "Intellectual property paradoxes in developing countries: The case of software IP protection in Iran," Journal of Intellectual Property Rights 19, January, 33-42.
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.