Access to Knowledge

Policy Brief 40, June 2017

Outcomes of the Nineteenth Session of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property: A Critical Reflection

Despite the high relevance of the issues discussed in the agenda of the WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), the effectiveness of the CDIP in leading the development orientation of the work of WIPO has diminished remarkably. Under the banner of the implementation of the Development Agenda recommendations agreed in 2007, significant reform was expected, but today much continues as business as usual.

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Research Paper 75, March 2017

Implementing Farmers’ Rights Relating to Seeds

The concept of Farmers’ Rights recognized the role of farmers as custodians of biodiversity and helped to draw attention to the need to preserve practices that are essential for sustainable agriculture. This paper examines one particular aspect of such rights, perhaps the most controversial. It deals with the component of farmers’ rights referring to the use, exchange and sale of farm-saved seeds. Although that concept was initially introduced in 1989 with the aim of balancing the rights of farmers as breeders and of commercial plant breeders, a specific reference to the rights relating to seeds was only introduced upon the conclusion of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2001.

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Policy Brief 33, December 2016

Outcome of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization 2016

The fifty-sixth series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) were held on 3-11 October 2016. They concluded with no agreement among member States on key issues, such as whether to convene a Diplomatic Conference for adoption of the Design Law Treaty (DLT) and the establishment of new WIPO External Offices for the 2016/17 biennium. (more…)

Statement, October 2016

South Centre Statement to the WIPO Assemblies 2016

The statement highlights that the greatest challenge for developing countries and LDCs in the area of intellectual property (IP) is the proliferation of regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements that impose IP obligations, together with the coercive external political and economic pressure to restrain from making use of the flexibilities in the IP system.

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Policy Brief 29, September 2016

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges for Developing Countries

On 21 September 2016,  a High Level Meeting was held on antimicrobial resistance at the sides of the United Nations General Assembly. It was followed by the adoption of a political declaration. This declaration paves the way for new coordinated actions on antimicrobial resistance backed by higher political commitment, on the basis of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP) of the World Health Organization (WHO).  (more…)

Policy Brief 17, March 2015

Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO

This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)

Research Paper 56, November 2014

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Protocol on Patents: Implications for Access to Medicines

This paper was commissioned to better understand the workings of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (commonly known as “ARIPO”) with regard to its Protocol on Patents and Industrial Designs and to examine the effect of implementation of the Protocol (Section on Patents) on the promotion of access to affordable medicines. (more…)

Statement, 13-17 October 2014

South Centre Statement on Coming into Force of Nagoya Protocol

The following is a Statement by the South Centre on the coming into force of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. (more…)

Research Paper 52, August 2014

Tackling the Proliferation of Patents: How to Avoid Undue Limitations to Competition and the Public Domain

The steady increase in patent applications and grants that is taking place in developed and some developing countries (notably in China) is sometimes hailed as evidence of the strength of global innovation and of the role of the patent system in encouraging it. However, such an increase does not correspond to a genuine augmentation in innovation. (more…)

Research Paper 41, September 2011

Pharmaceutical Innovation, Incremental Patenting and Compulsory Licensing.

Despite the decline in the discovery of new chemical entities for pharmaceutical use, there is a significant proliferation of patents on products and processes that cover minor, incremental innovations. A study conducted in five developing countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India and South Africa – evidenced a significant proliferation of ‘evergreening’ pharmaceutical patents that can block generic competition and thereby limit access to medicines. (more…)

Research Paper 36, March 2011

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources: Analysis and Implementation Options for Developing Countries.

As is common knowledge, the Nagoya Protocol was rushed through in the final hours of COP10 in an attempt to secure a binding instrument on ABS. As a result the Protocol represents, at best, a partially negotiated instrument. In the process, transparency, legal certainty and balance seem to have been sacrificed. (more…)


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