Resources for:

Intellectual Property and Agriculture

October 2005

Thinking Aloud on Disclosure of Origin - Occasional Paper 18

This paper considers issues relating to different "disclosure of origin" obligations, their compatibility with TRIPs and relationship to other regimes such as the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) or UPOV. It covers developments in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), as well as specific cases where disclosure might have made a difference, such as the Enola Bean, Hoodia and Rosy Periwinkle cases.

Author: 

  • Graham Dutfield

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October 2005

Disclosure of Origin and Access and Benefit Sharing: The special case of seeds for food and agriculture - Occasional Paper 17

Access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and the conservation of such resources is vital, as it has far-reaching implications for food security. Patents can hinder access to plant resources for breeding purposes. He discusses the position of several key actors relating to disclosure of origin, says that disclosure of source is not a problem for the seed industry (ISF), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO).

The author of this Occasional Paper argues that developing countries should not require patents on plant resources as they go against their interest and the interests of their citizens. He discusses the merits of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) system for plant genetic resources and finds that the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) should be the sui generis system of choice to achieve the objectives of ABS. In the view of the author, plant varieties out of plant variety protection (PVP) should be deposited in a seed bank (independent from UPOV), as this would be more useful than getting an agreement on disclosure of origin.

Author: 

  • Walter Smolders

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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.

Author: 

  • Sisule F. Musungu

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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.

Author: 

  • QIAP

Languages: 

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January 2004

Patents, Trade and Development

This beginners' introduction to rules on patents, copyright and other forms of intellectual property describes how they affect distribution of wealth and power.  It describes what patents are, and how intellectual property rules underpin the control of, access to and use of technology, knowledge, medicines, seeds, biodiversity, scientific research and much more.

It suggests ways concerned individuals can get involved and points to other key actors working on these topics.

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

Author: 

  • QIAP

Languages: 

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January 2004

Patents, Trade and Health

This non-specialist briefing paper describes how global rules on trade and patents can make medicines more expensive. It also describes how countries have sought to address this problem.

It suggests ways concerned individuals can get involved and points to other key actors working on these topics.

Author: 

  • QIAP

Languages: 

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January 2004

Bilateral Agreements and a TRIPS-plus World: The Chile-USA Free Trade Agreement

Focuses on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Chile and the United States of America (U.S.). The paper deals with broad aspects of trade, including general provisions establishing a free trade zone between the two countries, settlement of disputes, market access, services, investment, telecommunications and intellectual property (IP).

Its purpose is to contribute to a better understanding of TRIPs-plus issues, the specific contents of the FTA and the lessons that could be drawn from the negotiations between the most powerful and technologically advanced country in the world – with clear stakes in IPRs – and a small and dynamic developing country that has one of the most open and liberal economies of the Americas.

Author: 

  • Pedro Roffe

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Countries / Regions: 

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December 2003

Multilateral Agreements and a TRIPS-plus World: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Discusses TRIPs-plus standards at the multilateral level particularly in negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) substantially changed the international intellectual property regime by introducing the principle of minimum intellectual property standards. This paper discusses WIPO's structure, decision making and mandate in relation to UN development goals, and its role in harmonising patent law standards. It also considers the TRIPs-plus concept and provides policy recommendations for a development orientated international intellectual property system.

This is TRIPs issues paper number 3, published by QUNO Geneva and Quaker International Affairs Programme (QIAP), Ottawa.

Author: 

  • Sisule F. Musungu
  • Graham Dutfield

Languages: 

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October 2003

Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Countries in TRIPS

Analyses the special and differential treatment provisions in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) Agreement, assesses their implementation in support of development, and makes 10 recommendations for change.

These questions arise as differential and more favourable treatment of developing countries has been a fundamental principle of the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This is TRIPs Issues Paper number 2, published by QUNO, Geneva and the Quaker International Affairs Programme (QIAP), Ottawa

Author: 

  • Constantine Michalopoulos

Languages: 

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August 2003

Regional & Bilateral Agreements and a TRIPS-plus world: The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

Provides an overview, based on intellectual property rights negotiations in the Americas, of some of the implications of regional and bilateral Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) plus agreements for the current minimum standards under TRIPs. It discusses the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) in relation to TRIPs, and argues that the push towards ever-stronger IPRs threatens to undermine the balance achieved in many national laws and the capacity of developing countries to use flexibilities existing at the international level to achieve developmental and public policy goals.

This is TRIPs Issues Paper number 1, published by QUNO, Geneva and the Quaker International Affairs Programme (QIAP), Ottawa.

Author: 

  • David Vivas-Eugui

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Countries / Regions: 

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