Analytical Note, March 2017

The TRIPS and WTO Negotiations: Stakes for Africa

This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)

Research Paper 74, February 2017

Mitigating the Regulatory Constraints Imposed by Intellectual Property Rules under Free Trade Agreements

IP provisions in FTAs may have implications on a wide range of public policy areas. A vast academic literature has addressed the “flexibilities” available under the TRIPS Agreement and the negative impact of FTAs in relation to access to medicines. (more…)

Statement, January 2017

South Centre Statement on the Amendment to the WTO TRIPS Agreement to Ease Access to Affordable Medicine

An amendment to the TRIPS Agreement that aims to facilitate the access to affordable medicines has entered into force upon approval by two thirds of the WTO members. The amendment reflects the recognition by WTO Members of the need for the continued enhancement of global intellectual property rules to allow Members to systematically take measures to protect public health.


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.


SC Side Event: Designing Sui Generis PVP System in Developing Countries and the Role of WIPO, 7 October 2016

Title:              Panel Discussion on “Designing Sui Generis Plant Variety Protection System in Developing

                         Countries and the Role of WIPO”

Date:              7 October 2016, 13:00-15:00

Venue:           WIPO New Building, Room 0.107

Organizer:   The South Centre, The Third World Network (TWN) and and the Association for Plant

                         Breeding for Benefit of Society (APBREBES)


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…)

Research Paper 70, August 2016

Innovation and the Global Expansion of Intellectual Property Rights: Unfulfilled Promises

The incorporation of intellectual property into trade agreements has not proven to bring about the promised benefits. The premises that have underpinned the global strengthening and expansion of intellectual property through such agreements – namely that the same standards of protection are suitable for countries with different levels of development and that innovation will be boosted – do not match the reality. (more…)

Research Paper 69, July 2016

Intellectual Property and Access to Science

The boundaries between scientific and technological knowledge are nebulous in some technical fields, such as the biological sciences and their applications. This has led to the appropriation under patents of knowledge (such as on specific genes) of scientific nature, which may not only have negative effects for the further development of science and new technological contributions, but also encroach on the fundamental right of access to science. (more…)

SC Side Event to the 24th WIPO SCP, 29 June 2016

Title:              Patents and Public Health: Exploring Options for Future Work in the WIPO

Date:              29 June 2016, 13:00-14:45

Venue:           WIPO, Room B

Organizer:   South Centre (more…)

Investment Book Launch, 18 May 2016

Title of Book:               Investment Treaties: Views and Experiences from Developing Countries


                                       VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Date:                              Wednesday, 18 May 2016, 13:30-15:00

Venue:                           Library Events Room (B-135), Palais des Nations, Geneva

Organizer:                    South Centre and UNOG Library


Book by the South Centre, 2015

The WHO “Red Book” on Access to Medicines and Intellectual Property – 20 Years Later


Bk_2015_WHO Red Book_EN_001About the book: The publication in 1998 by the WHO’s Essential Drugs Department of the document “Globalization and Access to Drugs: Implications of the WTO/TRIPS Agreement” marked a point in time in the movement to ensure access to essential medicines for all. The publication, often referred to as ‘the WHO red book’, marked the beginning of an international policy process to address the issue of innovation and access to essential medicines. It triggered a series of reactions from the pharmaceutical industry, the US Government and the WTO, reproaching WHO for stepping out of its role. In light of these attacks, the then Director General of WHO decided to send the document to be revised by three independent academics specializing in intellectual property. The letters and documents criticizing the WHO publication as well as the review by the three international experts are reproduced in this book.

Authors: Germán Velásquez and Pascale Boulet

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Book by the South Centre, 2013

Pharmaceutical Innovation, Incremental Patenting and Compulsory Licensing


Bk_2013_Pharmaceutical innovation_EN_001About the book: This book examines patent trends and the use of compulsory licenses relating to pharmaceuticals in five developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India and South Africa. It finds a number of common features and problems, and shows how the application of rigorous standards of patentability may contribute to protect public health by promoting local production and competition.

Editor: Carlos M. Correa is the Special Advisor on Intellectual Property and Trade of the South Centre and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on Industrial Property at the Law Faculty, University of Buenos Aires.

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