Here is an article in the Hindu by David Dickson, Director, SciDev.Net about some of the recent developments at World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The article makes some interesting points and observations.
First, the good news:
Last month there was a significant breakthrough in these discussions when various important new principles governing WIPO’s approach were agreed. These included taking into account different levels of development, preserving a balance between costs and benefits in setting new IPR rules, and the importance of preserving the `public domain’ of knowledge.
The second is an observation about TRIPS:
Strong pro-business patent legislation and guidelines — such as those in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement that countries in or joining the World Trade Organization must accept — were promoted as an essential component of efforts to promote economic development, irrespective of whether countries were rich or poor.
The third point is how patenting regime is not helping globalisation:
But patent rules have proved to be an Achilles heel of globalisation. A series of widely publicised cases have highlighted the social injustices that accompany globalisation. These range from the appropriation of indigenous knowledge by multinational companies, to the way that patents allow pharmaceutical companies to price essential medicines out of the reach of the poor.
Of course, the article discusses the Novartis case and Mashelkar committee report (without naming it).
Finally, the most important point made by the article is that the very success of the globalisation agenda might depend crucially on how pro-poor the patent regimes are going to be:
With IPR issues rapidly climbing the political agenda in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, the top priority for governments and their policymakers should be to seek agreement on a workable, pro-poor treaty. That might go some way to restoring confidence in globalisation in the eyes of an increasingly sceptical public.
One couldn’t agree more. Take a look!