Policy Discussions and International Organizations

WTO: Proposal on COVID and IP by South Africa and India

During the October 2020 TRIPS Council meeting, 40 TRIPS Council members discussed a proposal submitted by India and South Africa for a temporary waiver of a broad range of TRIPS obligations. The sponsors argued that this could facilitate the global response to COVID-19. The proposal endorses a waiver for all WTO members of the implementation, application, and enforcement of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement – including all the patent protection and enforcement provisions – in order to enhance access to new therapeutics, vaccines, and diagnostics. This proposal warrants careful examination. IP rights will be an important tool underpinning the collaborations required to develop and get the relevant technologies to patients everywhere, and quickly. They can be expected to play a constructive and important role, thus accelerating the global COVID response.

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WIPO Re:Search

By catalyzing a broad range of innovative collaborations, WIPO Re:Search supports early-stage research and development (R&D) in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and tuberculosis.  Harnessing the power of public-private partnerships, it helps make IP available to scientists who need it. Moreover, through WIPO Re:Search, scientists from a range of countries have had the chance to participate in scientific exchanges and training abroad. This was an unanticipated benefit from the initiative. Innovation Council member Novartis was a founding member of WIPO Re:Search.

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WIPO’s Inventor Assistance Program

The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP) – a WIPO initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum – is the first global program to match developing country inventors and small businesses with limited financial means with patent attorneys. These experts provide pro bono legal assistance to help inventors secure patent protection. Participating countries are Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa. Innovation Council members Novartis and Qualcomm are on the advisory board of the IAP, and were instrumental in its establishment.

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New WIPO DG Daren Tang

In this recorded message, Daren Tang addresses delegates following his appointment as the next Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO member states appointed Mr. Tang by consensus on May 8, 2020, for a six-year term that began on October 1, 2020. Among his priorities, he emphasises the need for inclusive innovation systems, quality technical assistance, and more thought leadership from WIPO. Innovation Council supports these objectives and looks forward to working with the Tang Administration.
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WTO report on COVID-19

The WTO Secretariat published this new information note warning of possible increases to trade costs due to COVID-19 disruptions. The note examines the pandemic’s impact on key components of trade costs, particularly those relating to travel and transport, trade policy, uncertainty, and identifies areas where higher costs may persist even after the pandemic is contained.

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WIPO Pat-Informed: information about meds patents

The Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED) provides a service to the global health community, particularly those involved in procurement of medicines, by facilitating easy access to medicine patent information. The data is provided directly by the biopharmaceutical companies and hosted by WIPO. Anyone can search the Pat-INFORMED database simply by entering a medicine’s INN (International Nonproprietary Name) to obtain relevant information about its patent status in a particular country. Innovation Council supports this effort to enhance transparency around patents and health technologies.

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WIPO Intangible Capital and Assets in Global Value Chains

The World Intellectual Property Report 2017 and Economic Research Working Paper No. 41 examine the crucial role of intangibles such as technology, design and branding in international manufacturing. The WIPO 2017 report examines global value chains for three products – coffee, photovoltaic energy cells, and smartphones. The Working Paper uses data on individual smartphones as well as industry data to identify which smartphone firms capture the most value.

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WIPO Technology Trends 2019 – Artificial Intelligence

This report reveals trends in patenting of artificial intelligence (AI) innovations, the top players in AI from industry and academia, and the geographical distribution of AI-related patent protection and scientific publications. Its findings are accompanied throughout by commentary and industry perspectives from more than 20 of the world’s leading experts in AI, making it of particular interest to business leaders, researchers, and policymakers.

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SDG Lab in Geneva

The SDG Lab in Geneva identifies opportunities for convergence in order to energize and maximize the added-value of International Geneva in supporting implementation of the SDGs. It creates space for interdisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration while consistently testing assumptions and asking questions about what is needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Innovation Council is committed to engaging with the SDG Lab.

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