Intellectual Property and Human Development
2013 Seminar Series
This Global Forum Seminar Series focused on the role of intellectual property in human development in emerging economies. Each seminar provided tools and case studies to meet the practical demands of developing countries and public interest organizations.
The Role of Intellectual Property in Biodiversity Protection and Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements.
The Role of Intellectual Property in Food Security in Developing Countries.
Susan K. Finston, Finston Consulting moderated and presented at the seminar. Our other knowledgeable speakers included Dr. Leonard Hirsch, Senior Policy Advisor, Smithsonian Institution, and Lila Feisee, Vice President, International Affairs, Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The last few years have seen a range of significant developments related to intellectual property rights (IPRs) and biodiversity. At least two major international agreements, both legally binding, deal with this issue: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the TRIPs Agreement. In addition, WIPO and other international institutions are increasingly becoming active on the subject. At national levels, too, there is considerable activity with legislation, or other measures, which respond to the above treaties or in other ways deal with the relationship between IPRs and biodiversity. This seminar will provide an overview of IPRs related to biodiversity; explore the relationship between IPRs and biodiversity; and examine the spaces available in existing regimes for appropriate national action. The key findings and presentations can be downloaded here.
The focus of the seminar was Linking agricultural biodiversity and food security Plant breeders rights versus The free exchange of germplasm.
The Role of Intellectual Property in Public Health in Developing Countries.
June Blalock, USDA, ARS, Office of Technology Transfer moderated the seminar. Our blue ribbon panel of speakers included Dr. David J. Spielman, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute; Dr. Rob Bertram, Director ofUSAID’s Office of Agricultural Research and Policy; Nnamdi Kalu Ezera, J.D. Senior Counsel, Commercial Law and Development Program U.S. Department of Commerce; and Denise Dewar, Executive Director, Plant Biotechnology,CropLife International.
Food security is a major problem in low and middle-income developing countries. The basic human right to food security also relates to issues of agricultural policy, economic development and trade. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) have become increasingly important in the past couple of decades in agricultural biotechnology where IPRs provide an incentive for the development of the private sector. The extension of IPRs to agriculture is of special significance because agriculture and food security are interlinked to the realization of basic food needs. The key findings and presentations can be downloaded here. A special report provided by Prof. Olivier De Schutter the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food can be downloaded here.
The discussion focused on way to build and improve capacity to encourage public health innovation and the management of technology transfer. Our blue ribbon panel of speakers included Dr. Rita Khanna, General Counsel at the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation; Dr. Kechi Achebe, Director of the Office for Health & HIV/AIDS at Africare; Dr. Mark L. Rohrbaugh, Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health; and Suzanne Seavello Shope, Director of the Technology Transfer Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The key findings and presentations can be downloaded here.
Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, Inc. (PIIPA) is an international nonprofit organization that provides pro bono intellectual property (IP) legal counsel to governments, businesses, indigenous peoples, and public interest organizations in developing countries that seek to promote health, agriculture, biodiversity, science, culture, and the environment.
The modern economy is a knowledge based economy which relies not only on physical property rights but also on intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights over creations of the mind. These include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. The world economy has come to depend on IP goods – from software and pharmaceuticals to cell phones, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. In many ways, intellectual property rights play a similar role to physical property rights. Secure intellectual property rights create incentives for innovation just as secure property rights create incentives for production.
Intellectual property laws, like all legal systems, work best when everyone has opportunity to access the legal system and receive the protections of these laws. The problem is that only a fraction of the world’s population currently has the knowledge and/or means necessary to access the intellectual property legal system and use these laws.
PIIPA was created to address the intellectual property inequities that exist in the global economy.
This book examines the social impact of intellectual property laws. It addresses issues and
trends relating to health, food security, education, new technologies, preservation of
bio-cultural heritage, and contemporary challenges in promoting the arts. It explores
how intellectual property frameworks could be better calibrated to meet socioeconomic
needs in countries at different stages of development, with local contexts and culture in
mind. Read more...