United States Law and the Proposed Code of Conduct on the Transfer of Technology

AuthorMark R. Joelson
Published date01 December 1978
Date01 December 1978
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/0003603X7802300406
Subject MatterArticle
UNITED
STATES
LAW
AND
THE
PROPOSED CODE OF CONDUCT
ON
THE
TRANSFER
OF TECHNOLOGY
by
MARK
R. JOELSON*
For some time, the nations of the world have been making
an effort, under the auspices of the United Nations Confer-
ence on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD),
to negotiate an
international code of conduct on the transfer of technology.
The impetus for this work has come from the developing
nations, who have asserted
that
technology is the universal
heritage of mankind and
that
legally binding rules must be
adopted to shield their economies and nationals from undesir-
able licensing practices by the transnational enterprises who
control the bulk of the technology. The developed nations, for
their part, have taken the position
that
any guidelines should
be voluntary in nature and
that
freedom of contract should
continue to have broad leeway in this area. As of this writing,
despite years of preparatory work by experts and the conclu-
sion of a four-week plenary negotiating conference in Geneva,
the gap between the Group of 77 (the developing nations) and
the Group B nations (the non-communist developed nations)
remains wide.
One important battleground has been the question of what
types of provisions in patent, know-how, and associated trade-
mark licensing agreements should be deemed restrictive busi-
ness practices