Increasing access to biotechnology results
The link today is to a short 4-page report from a symposium that was held in April 2008 at Wageningen entitled “Reconsidering Intellectual Property Policies”.  I wanted to blog a couple of extracts to tempt you to read the entire report!

“Intellectual property protection is caught between the need for valorisation of research outcomes, and the wide availability of these outcomes.  … [the workshop has] emphasized the complexity of the IP debate and the various approaches that can be taken to increase the ‘freedom to operate’ for researchers in developing countries  … the patent discussion needs to be placed in a wider context. Liability issues, weak infrastructure and a lack of control over production processes at most public research institutes in the South seriously weaken their credibility in the eyes of patent holders willing to provide technologies via humanitarian licenses. High transaction costs and the difficulty of finding useful technologies – both patented and non-patented – further complicate the access to technology.  As such, it became clear that access to intellectual property is only a precondition for a wider strategy in which capacity building and institutional partnership can truly contribute to the development in the ‘South’”

The report summarises discussions on:
• Liability; bottleneck for the patent holders
• Lowering the transaction costs
• Open source for fundamental research
• Access to non-patented technology

Pertinent to IP professionals working in the agricultural development environment!

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