Abstract. We develop a model with one innovating northern firm and heterogeneous southern firms that compete in a final product market. We assume southern firms differ in their ability to adapt technology and study southern incentives to protect intellectual property rights. We find that, in a non-cooperative equilibrium, governments resist IPR protection, but collectively southern countries benefit from some protection. We show that, in general, countries with more efficient firms prefer higher collective IPR protection than those with less efficient firms. Given the aggregate level of IPR protection, it is more efficient if the more efficient countries have weaker IPR protection.