The majority of countries are signatories to the US-inspired Digital Millenium Copyright Agreement, which imposes copyright terms and durations determined by the US Congress onto signatory nations. Copyright can be claimed at almost no cost, effective in many countries, with no search for possible plagiarism or penalty for simply retelling the same story if the arrangement of words is different, nor does "prior art" prevent copyright. Yet a novel invention would have to have individual protection applied for, with searches, in 146 countries to be comprehensive, with a much higher standard of novelty and innovation necessary. A treaty giving equal weight to a US patent in Europe, or a European patent in the US, or either in China, without having to lodge another patent in each foreign market makes far more sense to me. Most of the expense is in the duplication of applications, and searches in each case.