Policy Discussions and International Organizations

Launch of New “Horizon IP Scan” Support Service for SMEs

The European Commission recently launched a service called the “Horizon Intellectual Property Scan.”  This tailored, first-line, free-of-charge IP support service is specifically designed to help European start-ups and other SMEs to efficiently manage—and derive value from—IP that they create in collaborative research and innovation efforts, especially those that are connected with EU-funded Horizon 2020/Europe projects.  Building on a vast network of experienced, local IP experts, covering all EU Member States and Horizon 2020/Europe associated countries, the Horizon IP Scan team provides individual, professional, jargon-free assessments of SMEs’ intangible assets.

View Post

Healthcare Innovation Main Driver of European Patent Applications in 2020

The latest statistics published by the European Patent Office (EPO) show that innovation in healthcare was the main driver of patenting activity in 2020.  Medical technology was the field with the most inventions by volume, while pharmaceuticals and biotechnology were the fastest-growing areas.  Indeed, in 2020, medical technology retook the top spot for most inventions (from the field of digital communication), while pharmaceuticals and biotech showed 10.2% and 6.3% increases in patent filing, respectively.

View Post

Launch of European Innovation Council

The European Commission has launched the European Innovation Council (EIC), with a budget of over €10 billion (in current prices) for 2021-2027, in order to develop and expand breakthrough innovations. Building on a successful pilot programme under Horizon 2020, the new EIC is not only a novelty of Horizon Europe, but it is also unique in the world: it combines research on emerging technologies with an accelerator programme and a dedicated equity fund—the European Innovation Council Fund—to scale up innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Around €3 billion of the EIC’s budget will go towards the EIC Fund.

View Post

Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the 21st Century

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), together with Cambridge University press, has published a book to propose a framework to evaluate knowledge transfer practices, improve knowledge transfer metrics and evaluation frameworks, generate findings on what does and does not work regarding knowledge transfer, and offer relevant policy lessons. It does so based on studies and insights from three developed and three emerging economies: the United Kingdom, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, China, and South Africa.  The book reflects WIPO’s larger program of support for universities and research institutions in the use of IP for advancing knowledge transfer to support economic growth and sustainable futures.

View Post

Ideas Powered initiative: Believe in the power of ideas

Ideas Powered is an initiative by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to raise awareness of the value of IP and the importance of respecting it. Trademarks, designs, patents, and copyright, as well as geographical indications and other IP rights, help individuals and businesses develop and grow, and to share their ideas, creations, and products.

Part of Ideas Powered’s mission consists of explaining to young Europeans how to protect their creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, a practice which should be deeply rooted in any education fit for the 21st century.

View Post

Trade in the time of pandemics

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first female and first African leader of the World Trade Organization (WTO) argues why trade will help us find a way out of the pandemic with borders closed and global travel constrained.

The multilateral trading system is fundamental to fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for future pandemics, and stimulating the global economic recovery. Trade barriers distort markets and create an uneven playing field, with the potential to reduce production when increased supplies are needed. To ensure that the multilateral trading system works smoothly and flexibly during a moment of global crisis, the WTO should play a more active facilitation role. It should work in close partnership with other relevant international organizations such as WHO, COVAX and the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) — to provide solutions to the pandemic.

Read the full story.

View Post

Scale up of healthcare innovations for low- and middle-income countries

A strategic Collaborative Agreement to support the scaling up of healthcare innovations in low- and middle-income countries has been signed between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA). The WHO will link impactful health innovations to the countries that need them most and the IDIA will help to accelerate and deepen our collective impact in tackling the greatest challenges in global health.

The collaboration will focus on five areas including demand for innovation in response to national health needs and global targets, supply of innovations, sharing expertise and tools to support assessment of innovations, scaling up of innovations, and the development of innovation and scaling knowledge and skills among WHO staff, Member States, and development partners.

Read the full story.

View Post

Nations Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech

Speaking at a panel organized by the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. Read full article here.

View Post

Recent Trends in the WHO’s Essential Medicines List

While the number of patented medicines on the EML has increased in recent editions, the portion of the list currently under patent remains a small portion of all drugs on the EML, currently about 10%. A deeper dive into the data shows that many drugs are only patented in a fraction of lower income countries. Thus, 80% of lower income countries have 50 or fewer active patent filings on that ten percent. Moreover, many of these patented drugs are subject to institutionalized programs to provide access at lower cost. This paper provides an update to previous efforts to understand the nature of the EML, while expanding previous information thanks in part to the existence of new freely accessible online databases showing patent status and participation in programs to provide access.

View Post