Alarm Over Monsanto-Backed Push To Acquire African Seed Company

Maize seeds - Flickr - Ian Hayhurst

An African civil society group has voiced concerns about the takeover by giant multinational seed companies of home-grown African seed companies, the latest of which involves Africa’s SeedCo.

IP Increasingly Seen As Enabler For Innovation Finance, IP Offices Say

mark-tuminello-finance-innovation

“Intellectual property is a substantial chunk of business investment,” Tony Clayton, chief economist in the United Kingdom IP Office, told a side gathering at the recent World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly. “It really does matter.”

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

Susan Bingi address WTO Public Forum

At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.

At WTO, Experts Discuss Solutions To Drugs Innovation Crisis; IP Not In The List

Panellists at UAEM event

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) organised a panel at the World Trade Organization Public Forum this week on new approaches in university management of intellectual property. The panel gathered a diverse panel of experts giving their take on possible solutions to less innovation and higher prices of drugs, and the role of publicly-funded research.

WTO Director General Wants To Put Human Dimension In WTO Work

Roberto Azevêdo WTO Public Forum - Photo credit WTO

The World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo opened the 2014 WTO Public Forum by saying trade is essential but the international trade system should provide a seat for everyone at the table. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also insisted on the importance of a development-oriented international trade system.

Inauspicious Start To Gurry’s Second Term As IP Policymaking Hits Wall At WIPO

General Assembly Chair, Amb. Päivi Kairamo

To hear some delegates’ late night closing statements at the General Assembly last night, developing country goals at the World Intellectual Property Organization died this week, as key issues met roadblocks in every direction. But all member states claimed to be shaken by the crash of WIPO’s normative agenda this week, putting the model for negotiating at the UN agency into question.

Health Advocates Demand U-Turn In EU Trade Policy To Align With Its Health Objectives

FLickr -  Greg McMullin -

Health Action International Europe, and Oxfam today issued a briefing paper entitled, “Trading Away Access to Medicines: How the European trade agenda continues to undermine access to medicines.” The paper argues that new concerns such as the ebola virus and the threat of unchecked antimicrobial resistance show the need for a new model for financing pharmaceutical research and development.

NGOs: Farmers’ Rights Should Be Safeguarded In Activities Of Plant Treaty, WIPO, UPOV

Agriculture - Catherine Saez (1)

Over 50 organisations have co-signed a letter to the International Plant Treaty calling for it to safeguard the implementation of farmers’ rights in the context of joint activities with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV).