Analysis of the economic impact of granting protection to intellectual property rights is highly complex and contentious. International protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) can be expected to increase the global level of R and D, and lead to increased investment and trade. It is also likely to result in higher prices and more restricted access to new technology and products. Producers of technology will gain from a strengthening of IPRs. Consumers will probably have an economic loss in the short-run which may be offset, in part, in the longer-run, by higher rates of economic growth, output, and employment. The economic impacts will also be unevenly experienced by different country groups, and between countries within the groups. Developed countries are likely to gain economically in the short and long-term. The social and environmental impacts are likely to be concentrated in the developing countries, and may be adverse, at least in the short to medium-term through higher prices and reduced access to protected goods and technology. In the longer-term, they may be advanced by the increased flow of investment and technology transfer.