Resources for:

Intellectual Property and Agriculture

August 2014

QUNO and Minute 36

Minute 36 (the Canterbury Commitment) challenges Quakers to seek a sustainable, equitable and peaceful life on Earth. Britain Yearly Meeting is responding to this challenge by focusing on how to become a low-carbon sustainable community. The Quaker United Nations Office responds to the same challenge at the international level in our work on climate change, natural resource management, food and sustainability, and human rights.

This briefing paper connects the work of QUNO to the concerns and the spirit of Minute 36, describing the linkages between local, national and international levels of engagement.

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January 2014

Developing country sui generis options for plant variety protection

These briefing papers on sui generis options for plant variety protection (PVP) are to encourage and support governmental officials and others who wish to develop a PVP system that matches their country’s needs. These briefing papers are the third and fourth in a series on TRIPS-compatible alternatives to UPOV.

Countries / Regions: 

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October 2013

Definition of 'Breeder' under UPOV

A briefing paper on food, biological diversity and intellectual property for the October 2013 UPOV sessions. It urges delegates to carefully consider their countries' objectives and realities in the area of agriculture when discussing the draft Explanatory Note on the definition of 'breeder' in the UPOV Council and Committee, particularly in relation to the role that smallholder farmers play in plant breeding.

Author: 

  • Caroline Dommen

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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.

Author: 

  • Susan Bragdon

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May 2013

QUNO Review May 2013

Review of the activities of QUNO in 2012, including:

  • Peace and disarmament 
  • Peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict
  • Food and sustainability
  • Human impacts of climate change
  • Natural resources, conflict and cooperation
  • Human rights and refugees
  • Palestine and Statehood at the UN
  • Peace, development and the Millenium Development Goals

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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. 

Author: 

  • Carlos M. Correa

Languages: 

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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

Author: 

  • QUNO

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December 2011

QUNO Review 2011

Review of the activities of QUNO in 2011, including:

  • Peace and Disarmament
  • Prevention of Violent Conflict
  • Peacebuilding
  • Food & Sustainability
  • Human Impacts of Climate Change
  • Human Rights & Refugees
  • Palestine and Statehood at the UN
  • Other Quaker Work at the UN
  • Looking Forward

Author: 

  • QUNO

Languages: 

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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.

Author: 

  • QUNO

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February 2011

Food, Biological Diversity and Intellectual Property

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) influences global policy relating to agricultural research, as it is the only international organisation with responsibility for plant variety protection.

This report seeks to raise awareness about UPOV’s role and way of working. It aims to provide a point of reference around which key actors – both supportive and critical of current approaches to intellectual property (IP) protection of plants – can engage in discussions and exchange of ideas.

The report also discussion the history of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) and Plant Breeders' Rights (PBRs) as well as UPOV's relationship with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the FAO's Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). It also refers to discussions on disclosure of origin of genetic resources, farmers' rights and the WIPO Development Agenda.

Author: 

  • Graham Dutfield

Languages: 

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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

Author: 

  • QUNO

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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.

Author: 

  • QUNO
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

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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

Author: 

  • QUNO

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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

Author: 

  • QUNO

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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.

Author: 

  • Sisule F. Musungu

Countries / Regions: 

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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.

Author: 

  • Frederick M. Abbott
  • Carlos M. Correa

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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.

Author: 

  • Sisule F. Musungu

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