I first saw this item via the AgIP news agency. It’s aggregated from the Office of the United States Trade Representative: “USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights”
The annual report looks into how well trading partners protect IPRs. To compile the report the US Trade Representative office reviewed 77 trading partners. Of particular interest view the following section online:
SECTION I. DEVELOPMENTS IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
It includes details of action plans and initiatives that the US govt is undertaking in order to strengthen IPR regimes in countries they trade with, including capacity building efforts.
I should have referenced this item some months ago, but it slipped my attention when it was published back in August on IP Watch. (I think I was probably off on holiday!) “The Relationship Between IP, Technology Transfer, and Development“. Today I spotted the item cross posted on other blogs (thanks CTA and Zunia!)
The author, Cheikh Kane writes:
“In order to better understand the link between intellectual property rights, technology transfer and development, an analysis was recently conducted of the expectations of developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, of technology transfer.”
Interestingly he notes:
“The analysis shows that in order to foster development through technology, it is necessary to put into place an efficient and flexible intellectual property rights system and to promote local innovation.”
I wasn’t able to find the text of the analysis he spoke about, possibly it was in French originally? If anyone has the link I would be grateful if they could add it to the comments section.
For more info on the WIPO Development agenda visit “Development Agenda for WIPO“. Including details of the 45 adopted recommendations.
The author sums up by saying:
“The adoption of a Development Agenda by WIPO has to integrate the notion that intellectual property should serve first and foremost the promotion and protection of local innovation. The international intellectual property system as it is devised is not doing enough to support local inventiveness.”
As I have quoted in the past; Victoria Henson-Apollonio once said:
“think of IP as a tool, like a hammer you can use it to knock a nail into a piece of wood, or you can smash a window..!”
I was reminded of these words reading a piece printed in the Guardian entitled “The Shackling of Science: ownership rights pose real danger to scientific progress for public good”.
The final paragraph of the article points to:
“The Manchester Manifesto, produced by an interdisciplinary and international group of experts … explores these problems and points the way to future solutions that will more effectively protect science, innovation and the public good. It calls on all interested parties to find better ways of delivering the fruits of science where they are most needed.”
The commercial gains cited as a large part of the problem are probably evidence enough IPRs aren’t going away anytime soon. Therefore a prudent action would be to make sure public sector institutions become more savvy when managing their own intellectual property, especially when dealing with the private sector. That way efforts can be made to ensure public sector research outputs remain available. There are examples of positive application of the IP tool, but they aren’t going to make headlines in the same way as the negative ones…