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Innovation and Agriculture

July 2013

Small-scale Farmers: The missing element in the WIPO-IGC Draft Articles on Genetic Resources

The Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is currently negotiating intellectual property rules around Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions/folklore. The implications of the draft text on small-scale farmers and food security are unclear. Here we explore the possible linkages and questions that should be further explored.

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December 2012

Geneva Reporter

Geneva's newsletter from September to December 2012. Featured stories:

  • Supporting children of prisoners
  • World food security
  • After the Millenium Development Goals
  • Highlights from QUNO New York
  • News in brief and publications

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September 2012

TRIPS-Related Patent Flexibilities and Food Security: Options For Developing Countries - Policy Guide

Food security is  as a pressing global challenge. Agricultural innovation is critical to addressing it. Equally important is ensuring that the benefits of such innovation are widely diffused, especially in developing countries.

How should countries design their intellectual property (IP) system to encourage and support agricultural innovation?  

The TRIPS Agreement provides WTO Members with flexibility to implement IP provisions in a way consistent with their agriculture and food security objectives. Yet these flexibilities have received little attention so far.

This Policy Guide seeks to fill this gap by providing an overview of TRIPS-related patent flexibilities that support agriculture and food security. 

This Policy Guide is designed for negotiators and policymakers in the areas of intellectual property, agriculture and food policy as well as breeders, farmers and other members of civil society. It also intended to be a useful tool for providers and recipients of technical assistance in the areas of intellectual property and agriculture. 

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February 2012

Geneva Reporter

QUNO Geneva's newsletter for November 2011 to February 2012. Featured stories:

- Preventing Armed Violence: the Geneva Declaration Review Conference
- The Unknown Impacts of Seeds Policies: Exploring the Effects of UPOV
- News from QUNO New York
- Watching the Climate Change Negotiations
- News in Brief, Jardins Ouverts, and Publications

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September 2011

Intellectual Property and Biodiversity: Friend or Foe?

This is the report of a panel discussion that considered how Intellectual Property (IP) can help preserve biological diversity, and how IP might undermine such diversity. The discussion looked at some of the fora in which IP and biodiversity issues are being discussed, in particular the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Panellists pointed to some likely future directions of policy and thinking in this area.

This panel was organised by QUNO and the Geneva Environment Network.

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January 2011

Geneva Reporter

QUNO Geneva's newsletter for November 2010 to January 2011. Featured stories:

  • About the year-in-review issue
  • From Policy-makers to Practitioners: Disarmament and Peace 2010
  • From Seeds to Sustainability: Global Economic Issues 2010
  • From Prisons to Protection :Human Rights and Refugees 2010
  • Update from QUNO New York
  • QUNO Summer School 2011
  • Staff Update

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September 2010

Agricultural Trade and Investment Rules for the 21st Century

The world of agriculture policy has changed fundamentally since the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture was adopted. This is a report of a panel discussion held during the WTO Public Forum, September 2010, that aimed to present some of the challenges facing world agriculture today, and how these could be addressed.

In particular, the session focused on the need for agriculture to provide food for the world’s population in a sustainable way. Presenters raised some issues in the Doha Round, the potential for sustainable agriculture to feed the world, and the role that food reserves can play in ensuring food security.

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June 2010

Geneva Reporter

QUNO Geneva's newsletter for February to June 2010. Featured stories:

  • Armed Violence & the Millennium Development Goals
  • UPOV, Intellectual Property & Food
  • Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference Concludes on Positive Note
  • New UN Ruling on Conscientious Objection to Military Service
  • Update from QUNO New York
  • Vacancy Announcement: QUNO Geneva Director

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January 2010

Geneva Reporter

QUNO Geneva's newsletter for November to January 2010. Featured stories:

  • Conscientious Objection to Military Service
  • Securing the Millennium Development Goals
  • A Letter from QUNO New York
  • Reasons to be Hopeful? Prospects for the Disarmament Agenda 2010
  • Women in Prison
  • QUNO Seeks New Programme Assistants
  • From Trade Justice to Climate Justice? Reflections Around the WTO’s 2009 Ministerial Conference
  • Quaker United Nations Summer School
  • Quakers at the Copenhagen Climate Conference
  • Panel Discussion on Intellectual Property and Food

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December 2008

The Protection of Geographical Indications and the Doha Round: Strategic and Policy Considerations for Africa

Aims to inform the position of the African Group in the WTO Geographical Indication (GI) negotiations. In particular it aims to generate objective evidence regarding issues such as the availability of legal means to protect GIs in African countries, the costs and benefits of GI protection, African products that could benefit from GI protection, and technical assistance needs relating to GI protection.

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May 2007

World Trade Organization Accession Agreements: Intellectual Property Issues

This paper addresses intellectual property issues that arise in the context of countries' WTO accession processes, with a view to assisting prospective WTO Members.

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January 2007

A Conceptual Framework for Priority Identification and Delivery of IP Technical Assistance for LDCs

In 2005 the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) extended the transition period for Least-developed countries (LDCs) to implement the TRIPS Agreement, until 2013. This paper draws attention to technical assistance issues arising out of the extension decision, and suggests ideas on how to think about what assistance may be required, and how priority assessments may be done.

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January 2005

Rethinking Innovation, Development and Intellectual Property in the UN: WIPO and Beyond

This paper critically analyses the increasing level of international intellectual property standards, the lack of economic analysis of such higher standards, the undemocratic and ideological international standard-setting processes, and the lack of coordination within and among developing countries on intellectual property matters. It argues that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) should not be the only UN agency to deal with intellectual property.

To meet the challenges the paper analyses, it suggests implementing a development agenda for WIPO and taking deliberate steps to position other UN agencies to provide substantive contributions to global policies on innovation, development and intellectual property.

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October 2004

Bilateral agreements and a TRIPS-plus world: the Chile-USA Free Trade Agreement

In these issues papers, the author examines a subject of importance in the developing international intellectual property regime and highlights the key issues arising. The topics have been chosen following consultations with negotiators from developing countries and respond to their concerns. The papers arise out of collaborative work between the Quaker International Affairs Programme in Ottawa and the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva. Our aim is to contribute to a greater understanding of the impact of changes in this area upon people’s lives and better inform debate and negotiations.

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August 2004

Harmonisation or Differentiation in Intellectual Property Protection? The Lessons of History

Part One of the paper explains how the priority of achieving minimum standards of protection and enforcement of existing IPRs has been superseded by that of global IP harmonisation for patents and what may be referred to as dynamic responsiveness for copyright. It also identifies the strategies being adopted to accelerate and deepen these processes. Part Two aims to demonstrate that this is very important and raises very high economic stakes.

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January 2004

Patents, Trade and Food

This is a beginners' introduction about patents and other forms of intellectual property and how they can affect agriculture and food security. It refers to key actors working in this field and suggests ways that individuals can get involved.

Although published in 2004, its key points are valid today.

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