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This text examines national and international intellectual property (IP) agencies in the light of global change and in context of their transformation from a long era of contented obscurity to that of increasing political and economic exposure and controversy. Taking a basic institutional perspective, the text examines the changes in relationships among four national and international IP agencies: the patent offices of the US, UK, Canada and Australia; the World Intellectual Property Office; the European Patent Office; and the World Trade Organization. Focusing on the 1990s, the book traces institutional changes that centre on the core trade-off in intellectual property policy between protection and dissemination of intellectual property. These are examined in relation to the two broad clusters of interests that operate around the protection versus dissemination functions. The former is dominated by big business and the IP professions and the latter by more dispersed interests.