Consumers constantly confront intellectual property rights (IPRs) every day, from their morning cup of Starbucks coffee to the Intel chip on their computer at work. Intellectual property rights help protect creative inventions in the form of trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Despite legal protection, many goods--including music and video files--are easily copied or shared, which affects industries, innovators, and customers. In his follow-up to one of the most popular PIIE titles of all time, Keith Maskus looks at the expansion of private legal rights into international trade markets, not only for technological items but also for international public goods like vaccines and prescription drugs. Private Rights and Public Problems assesses IPR issues for users, producers, and innovators and the difficulty of establishing an international policy regime that governs IPRs in all markets. Post-industrial countries have preferential terms for licensing and selling products, in part because they develop more global brands and products. Maskus observes that in these countries the primacy of private property raises contentious international debate between innovation owners in rich countries and followers and users in emerging and poor countries. Maskus explores if increased privacy regulations limit innovation and pose artificial and real barriers, such as decreased information accessibility and increased cost. This book addresses a fundamental issue: should basic scientific and technological knowledge be commoditized? In this guide to the current global impact of IPRs, the author analyzes the economic contribution of IPRs underlying features: innovation and access to international technologies.