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A term used to connote the state of a (third world) entity (nation/ organisation/ company) unable to occupy the numero uno position in scientific or technological advancements but compelled to play catch up with the breakthroughs of more advanced entities.
Former (Indian) president APJ Abdul Kalam said India is suffering from a fifth-nation syndrome as it is always the fourth or fifth nation to launch any mission like the space mission or nuclear programme

Apple's victory in its law suit against Samsung vindicated its stand that the latter copied the American co's original design. Samsung never comes up with anything original, it suffers from a fifth-nation syndrome.
by Common Man August 26, 2012
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