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November 2001

Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property

Debate about the impact of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has broadened since publication of our earlier discussion paper on Trade, Intellectual Property, Food and Biodiversity* in February 1999. One area of concern is its impact on traditional and indigenous knowledge (TK). This paper discusses a number of policy issues surrounding the protection of TK that may be relevant to future negotiations or a deeper treatment of this issue in various international fora.

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February 1999

Trade, Intellectual Property, Food and Biodiversity

There is a growing debate about intellectual property rights, food, farming, biodiversity, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other agreements. This paper aims to draw on the various perspectives presented in the body of literature informing debate to:

  • highlight, clearly and concisely, the policy questions raised for developing country governments by Article 27.3(b) of the TRIPS Agreement, in particular those concerning food security, and the options for the review of its provisions
  • examine the key ethical, economic, environmental and social issues surrounding its provisions - and their relation to other international negotiations
  • consider the possible contributions of overseas development assistance.

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April 2002

Sui Generis Systems for Plant Variety Protection

One concern arising from implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is its impact on farming communities. In particular, the meaning of four words in Article 27.3(b) – ‘effective sui generis system’ – for plant variety protection (PVP) has

exercised many people in developing countries since publication of our earlier report on Trade, Intellectual Property, Food and Biodiversity* in February 1999. In response to concerns expressed by developing country missions to the WTO in Geneva, we have commissioned this discussion paper to examine this issue.

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June 2003

Regional and bilateral agreements and a TRIPS-plus world: the Free Trade Area of the Americas

In these issues papers, individual authors are invited to examine a subject of importance in the developing international intellectual property regime and highlight the key issues they see arising. The topics have been chosen following consultations with negotiators from developing countries and respond to their concerns. 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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June 2003

Multilateral agreements and a TRIPS-plus world: The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

In these issues papers, authors are invited to examine a subject of importance in the developing international intellectual property regime and highlight key issues they see arising. The topics have been chosen following consultations with negotiators from developing countries, and respond to their concerns. 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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July 2002

Food Security, Biotechnology and Intellectual Property

Will biotechnology and the minimum standards of intellectual property rights (IPRs) required of members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) affect food security? Variations on this question have arisen in discussions with negotiators in Geneva in the Quaker UN Office programme (QUNO) on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This paper provides some ideas of how that question might be answered.

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May 2015

Building peace through Principle 10

QUNO Geneva have produced a new publication that focuses on the potential of environmental rights agreements to prevent destructive conflict around natural resources. “Building Peace through Principle 10, Access rights and the prevention of environmental conflict”, is a contribution to the ongoing negotiations to conclude a regional agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean on the right to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice, in environmental matters. It uses case studies from the region to illustrate how public participation in decision-making around natural resources contributes not only to sustainable but also to peaceful and equitable development. This publication was sent personally to each of the country delegates, and civil society representatives, to the negotiations in Santiago de Chile.

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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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