Analytical Note, October 2005

The Agenda for Transfer of Technology: the Working Group of the WTO on Trade and Transfer of Technology.

Technology transfer is a mechanism for the shifting of information across borders and its effective diffusion into recipient economies, thus involving numerous complex processes, ranging from innovation and international marketing of technology to its absorption and imitation.

The process of technology transfer includes the technology itself, trade terms and intellectual property rights, and policies of technology exporting countries, investment, and competition issues that can affect the terms of access to knowledge.

The aim of the Analysis is to shed light on the current status of the negotiation process on transfer of technology in the WTO and specifically to address the work of the Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology (Working Group).

The Note will summarise the current status of technology transfer in different fora, including the work under WIPO UNCTAD and UNIDO. Since the Working Group is the focal point of discussion on technology transfer at the multilateral level with participation by other organizations and member states as well, the note examines the current status of the Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology, addressing the issues of why it was set up, the nature of its work and the status of the agenda for technology transfer in the WTO.

Finally the paper outlines the possible steps in the upcoming Ministerial Conference and what should be achieved by the end of the Doha Round.

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